AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo was initially left unhappy with Sergio Perez, after the Mexican’s secret Santa gift to the Australian arrived late.
As has become tradition, the drivers – except Lewis Hamilton – took part in secret Santa, with Perez having been selected to give a present to the driver after his seat.
Formula 1 filmed the drivers opening their presents during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which took place at the end of November.
However, Perez’s gift to Ricciardo was delivered late, leaving him unhappy.
“It came late,” Ricciardo jokingly complained.
“So I’ve got a bone to pick with whoever selected it.”
Once Ricciardo unwrapped the present, he was no longer unhappy, as Checo had gifted him a limited-edition bottle of his own tequila brand.
It turns out Ricciardo is a big tequila fan, meaning the present went down very well.
“Thank you Checo,” Ricciardo said. “I do like tequila very much.”
Given that Ricciardo wants Perez’s seat in 2025, it’s fairly comical that it was the Red Bull driver who was chosen to give a present to the eight-time race winner.
Ricciardo has openly admitted that returning to Red Bull would be the perfect way to end his F1 career, with team principal Christian Horner being more than aware of the 34-year-old’s intentions.
Most expect Ricciardo to return to Red Bull in 2025, if he performs well for AlphaTauri next season.
Perez’s contract with the Milton Keynes-based squad expires at the end of 2024 and is so far no expected to be extended.
Some ponder whether Red Bull are planning on giving Ricciardo a one-year deal for 2025, leaving a seat available for 2026 potentially for Lando Norris.
Norris has been linked to Red Bull for years now and is viewed as a driver who could match Max Verstappen.
Whilst Ricciardo briefly matched Verstappen when they were team-mates from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix to the end of 2018, he struggled to do it consistently.
The same can be said for Perez, who particularly in 2023 was often considerably slower than the three-time World Champion.
Perez being selected to be Ricciardo’s secret Santa is a sign that there is no tension between them, at least for now.