Alonso face tattoo sparks Secret Santa banter

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo shows off his Fernando Alonso tattoo. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo shows off his Fernando Alonso temporary tattoo, gifted to him by the man himself. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

Fernando Alonso nailed the Secret Santa banter, with Daniel Ricciardo sporting a temporary tattoo of the Spaniard’s face in Abu Dhabi.

Ricciardo is one of the top pranksters in Formula 1 but as it turns out, Alonso had a fantastic way of turning the tables.

Secret Santa is a popular Christmas tradition, especially in workplaces, where participants are tasked with buying a gift for someone else without the sender revealing their identity.

The fun has stretched to the Formula 1 drivers too and, okay, the ‘secret’ part may have gone a bit awry, for it was not rocket science for Ricciardo to figure out who had drawn his name out of the hat – but it certainly was hilarious.

Asked if he had a gift idea for Ricciardo as he pulled his name from the hat, Alonso, just about coming to terms with the situation, said: “No…I prefer not to think too much.

“With this name, it’s better to just let it flow.”

As it turned out, Alonso did let the ideas flow and clearly put plenty of thought and creativity into the perfect gift for the Honey Badger.

To go with a nice bottle of red wine, Alonso also had his face imprinted on the Australian’s left arm.

But don’t worry, it is temporary, so Alonso will not permanently be a part of Ricciardo’s tattoo collection. There was nowhere for Ricciardo to hide though when he faced the assembled media at Yas Marina Circuit.

“I just saw the TV,” said Ricciardo, barely able to speak for laughing.

“Fernando just got me, for Secret Santa, along with a nice bottle of red he also got me some temporary Fernando tattoos.

“It’s beautiful.”

Lance Stroll was in the media room with Ricciardo at the time and had quite the mini-scare before he was assured Fernando’s face was not permanently inked in place.

“I thought that thing was permanent for a second! You’re brave, man,” said the Aston Martin driver.


Of course, Ricciardo is in peak physical condition, so he decided to give his ‘guns’ a nice flex to experiment with what that did to Alonso’s head.

“I was gonna flex, but I don’t know what that will do to Fernando’s head,” he said, while flexing anyway.

“He changes a little bit, he becomes more chiselled.”

Alonso later caught up with Ricciardo in the TV pen, ensuring the McLaren driver gave the cameras a good look at the masterpiece.