F1 Drivers And Their Tattoos – Part 2

As the season was off to an unexpected yet exhilarating start in Bahrain, we keep looking at the ink and body art of the Formula 1 drivers. Having covered Aussie and shoey-specialist Daniel Ricciardo (what is up with McClaren this year we will leave for a different conversation) and his many old school tattoos complete with a mom and pops dedication, and Lewis Hamilton’s many faith-related motives, the turn has come to a couple of other veterans and one relative youngster in the sport. 

Fernando Alonso’s samurai

Fernando Alonso, 40 years of age, began racing as a regular driver in Formula 1 in 2001, at only 20 years old. He has won two world championships and 32 Grand Prix races and driven for Minardi, Ferrari, McClaren and Renault. Alonso, who is currently racing for Alpine and did manage to get a podium last year, may not have as many pieces of body art as some of his colleagues. However, he definitely sports one of the most impressive ones. 

Alonso’s back tattoo draws inspiration from Hagakure or the Hagakure Kikigaki. It is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, founded on the commentaries of a clerk in Japan called Yamamoto Tsunetomo from the early 18th century. The Spanish driver had the piece done in 2011. It features the signs for ‘mother’, ‘father’ and ‘parents’ on a flag waving over a seated samurai. 

Meanwhile, for the 2021 Secret Santa of the F1 circus, Alonso drew McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo. What he got him? A temporary tattoo of the Spaniard’s own face. Apparently, there was also a bottle of red thrown in for good measure. 

Kimi the Iceman

Last year saw the final season of F1 veteran Kimi Räikkönen. The 42-year-old Finn competed in F1 for 20 years, having joined the circuit in 2001. He won the World Championship with Ferrari in 2007. He sports his (as anyone who has listened in on the radion chatter can attest to) well-deserved nickname – Iceman – on one forearm. The other arm has a portrait of the driver’s son whose name is Robin, done in black and grey. It sits on the inside of the forearm, on top of a tribal-style wrist bracelet. 

Stroll’s proverb

Relative newcomer Canadian-Belgian Lance Stroll, racing for Aston Martin alongside former World Champion Sebastian Vettel, has a quote tattoo on his ribs. The letters may be Hebrew, but the saying, eagle-eyed Reddit users agree, comes from Latin – Audentes Fortuna Juvat. This translates to Fortune Favours the Bold and has been used historically by different military regiments. Stroll has three podium finishes since his start in F1 in 2017. 

Are you surprised not more drivers have a substantial collection of tattoos? One could imagine that the attitude to put up with discomfort and extreme conditions for hours required on the racetrack would translate well to the tattoo artist’s chair. Maybe sponsors could start to feel a little apprehensive but in the words of then Ferrari Team Principal Jean Todt,

“If a sponsor would complain about the tattoo I would rather change the sponsor just to keep Kimi happy.”

The kind of attitude any boss should have when it comes to body art.