A FORMULA ONE fan got a huge surprise after buying a standard cap for £22 and receiving one signed by two top McLaren racing drivers.
Sophia Upton from Oxford, Oxfordshire, had ordered a plain orange McLaren cap online but wasn’t expecting to receive a piece of memorabilia she will keep forever.
When the 21-year-old finance assistant opened her delivery she noticed that the hat had been scribbled on in black ink.
On closer inspection she realised that the ink was actually the signatures of McLaren drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.
The duo occasionally sign caps and t-shirts which are then sent out randomly to customers instead of their original item.
The surprise was made even better because Daniel Ricciardo is Sophia’s favourite driver in the current Formula One paddock.
Signed F1 memorabilia usually fetches ten times the price Sophia paid so could be worth as much as £400.
However, Sophia has no plans to part with the McLaren cap and will wear it while attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.
Sophia shared a video on TikTok on Monday before getting clarification from McLaren, writing: “Help! @McLaren, Could this be real?”
Her video was viewed over 240,000 times and received over 21,000 likes.
Many Formula One fans were tempted to try their luck with some wanting to know if the cap was for sale.
Linzi said: “Secured the bag.”
Lilia said: “I might try to do this now.”
Spyros said: “I think it is legit.”
Elliot said: “Yeah, that’s legit.”
Robbie said: “How much for it?”
Olivia said: “Just a tad jealous over here.”
MacLaren liked the video shortly after it was uploaded.
Speaking today, Sophia said: “I was just shopping on Fuel For Fans for a 2021 McLaren cap as my dad’s birthday is coming up and he mentioned he’d like a McLaren cap.
“I ordered one for £22 and when it arrived with some other pieces I bought I realised it had writing on it.
“I did think it was really weird and there was no way it could be the driver’s signature.
“After 10 minutes of staring at them and messaging my friends to ask what they thought, I Googled the drivers’ signatures and realised they were the same.
“I was still confused so I decided to make the video asking my followers about it and McLaren.
“A lot of comments said the drivers sign a small batch and they get sent out randomly so I had a feeling they were real after those comments.
“Later on McLaren themselves liked the video so I knew from that that the signatures were real.”
Formula One has seen an increase in popularity since signing a deal with Netflix to produce ‘Drive to Survive’ which follows the Formula One season around the world as teams compete to be crowned Constructors World Champion.
The 2022 Formula One season, which begins when the lights go out in Bahrain, starts next month.