Max Verstappen adopts lion for Mick Schumacher in bizarre Secret Santa

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Max Verstappen has gifted Mick Schumacher a lion in a bizarre F1 Secret Santa gift. Schumacher initially thought he had just been given a stuffed lion teddy before realising it was part of an adoption package. The German quickly realised Verstappen was behind the purchase.

After unwrapping the gift, Schumacher said: “It’s a stuffed bear. No, it’s a lion. So a lion, the first thought would be Max.” The adoption certificate read: “This is to certify that Mick Schumacher has adopted king the lion.”

Schumacher grinned as he suggested he could visit his new friend, hinting he liked the unique gift. He added: “Is it actually a lion? I’ve adopted a lion. So I can go and see him” I can pet him? Play fetch?

“Well thank you very much Max, that’s very kind.” A closer look at the certificate showed the package was purchased from conservation charity Born Free.

The letter also confirms that the lion will be under Schumacher’s name for one year. The group specialise in adoptions for a range of animals including Cheetahs, Giraffes and Elephants.

Lion adoptions can be purchased for just £3 per month but a gift pack for a year’s adoption costs £36. However, Schumacher was not the only driver on the grid to receive an animal adoption.

Sebastian Vettel purchased a bee adoption for Nicholas Latifi alongside a packet of Nutella biscuits. Latifi said: “This is to certify Nicholas Latifi has officially adopted 61 drone bees.”

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The message from Vettel read: “It’s been a pleasure to race alongside you Nicholas. 61 bees, one for every Grand Prix we lined up on the grid together.” Latifi described the gift as “very sweet” and wished Vettel the best for his retirement.

Vettel was gifted a tree by Lance Stroll due to the four-time champion’s environmental work. It read: “Merry Christmas Seb. Working with the Swiss forest experts we will plant a maple tree in Switzerland according to the needs of the region.

“Have a good one man from your Secret Santa.” Max Verstappen received a photoshopped copy of EA Sports’s F1 22 video game from Charles Leclerc.

The cover of the PS5 box had been changed to include three images of Leclerc in a hilarious joke between the former on-track rivals.

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