Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner took a cheeky dig at Mercedes boss Toto Wolff over junior driver Esteban Ocon’s clash with Max Verstappen in Brazil, saying it would be good for Ocon to learn “what the flags mean.”

Mercedes junior and current Force India F1 driver Ocon made contact with race leader Verstappen in Brazil while trying to unlap himself, causing both cars to spin.

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The clash cost Verstappen the race win, resulting in an angry reaction from the Red Bull driver after the race in the FIA garage that landed him two days of FIA public service for pushing Ocon.

Mercedes confirmed on Friday in Abu Dhabi that Ocon would be taking up a third and reserve driver role with the team for 2019 after failing to find a race seat.

Explaining Ocon’s role, Wolff said: “We hope to maybe do the odd test with him also. We’re looking at pre-season and in-season, but that is not sorted out yet.

“He will spend a lot of time in the simulator and be ready for a seat in 2020.”

In reaction to this, Red Bull chief Horner quipped: “If you could show him what the flags mean, as well, that would help.”

The remark drew no response from Wolff, who had previously dismissed suggestions the move from Ocon may have been deliberate to aid Lewis Hamilton win the race for Mercedes.

Tensions between Ocon and Verstappen continued to run high on Thursday in Abu Dhabi as both drivers faced the press, shining a light on what could prove to be a long-running rivalry in F1's future, given both are only just starting out in their careers.

 

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