Apparently, Drake has struck again. Aubrey Drake Graham, the Toronto-born Canadian rapper, musician, and superstar is known to almost everyone in the world. He also has a prominent place in meme culture. He has consistently been one of the most streamed music artists online and holds several ‘Billboard Hot 100’ records. However, there is something else about Drake: He is the ultimate bad-luck charm, in sports, at the very least.
Many football teams would already seem to have been struck by this bad-luck charm, and subject to varying levels of misfortune. The most commonly accepted definition of the ‘Drake Curse’ is where anyone, especially in sports, who has any picture or recent association with the Canadian Superstar would be dueling against fate. In the superstitious world of sports, any association with Drake must be at your own risk.
This is mostly true for football (soccer) stars, with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba being prominent victims, both suffering crushing (or embarrassing) defeats after being in contact with Mr. Graham.
Now it seems that Drake has finally transferred his bad-luck charm to the world of Formula 1, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is his newest victim. A few hours before the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Drake put up an Instagram story where he made clear that he had a bet (his first bet in the sport, no less) of a whopping 300,000 Canadian dollars on Charles Leclerc to take victory at the race.
All seemed to be going well, and it seemed that Charles Leclerc would weather the storm and break the curse. However, there was to be no such good luck for the Monegasque. In lap 28, with more than 40 percent of the race done, Charles Leclerc retired in dramatic fashion while in the lead.
Charles Leclerc had started on pole position, after topping all the practice sessions of the weekend. He had a good start and stopped Max Verstappen from passing him. After that, it was mostly smooth sailing. Leclerc had built around a 2-second lead to Verstappen when the Dutch driver caught a ‘gust of wind’ which threw him down to 4th place. Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz had also experienced this earlier misfortune. However, the race got even easier for Leclerc from this point. By the time he finally came in for a pitstop on lap 22 (long after the other front runners), he had almost a 27-second gap to second-placed George Russell. He had a very fast pit-stop, only 2.2 seconds and after that it looked like it would be smooth sailing. But it was not to be.
On lap 28, it all came crashing down from Charles Leclerc as he was struck by a power unit issue (presumably from Drake’s curse, too) while he was at least 10 seconds ahead of George Russell in 2nd place. Title rival, Max Verstappen, eventually won the race. What looked to be an incredibly strong weekend, and a breeze turned into a disaster. Twitter was certainly amused by the ‘coincidence’.
One user even called it ‘God’s Plan’
What next for Charles Leclerc?
It looked to be a great weekend and a great victory for Charles Leclerc, one that would have him extend his lead at the top. Alas, it wasn’t to be his day. What could have been a standout weekend turned into disaster in moments, and Drake’s curse may or may not have been involved, but Ferrari’s engine components certainly were.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Natalie Pinkham, Leclerc did not know much about what caused the issue:
“No, I don’t know anything. More than what happened basically, no indications. It just broke. I can only look at the positives, the qualifying pace, the race pace, and the tires have also looked good.”
Leclerc also stressed they cannot afford to have this happen again this season, and at such a crucial juncture of the season. Not only that, but Leclerc’s home race in Monaco – where he has never finished – is next. He also recently crashed Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312 at the circuit, during the ‘Historic Monaco Grand Prix’, which was due to a brake issue.
“We cannot afford for this to happen many times.”
Despite that, Leclerc seemed to have stayed optimistic for the rest of the season, and on being asked about his home race, said:
“The lead of the championship will go down to nothing, but that’s fine. What is important is the performance. I can’t wait to go home next week, to Monaco.”
The Monegasque and Ferrari will be hoping for a much better weekend and recovery at Monaco. Charles Leclerc would hope to finally get his first victory in his home race, and break the curse that has plagued him there. He is currently in second place with 104 points, 6 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, having lost the lead this weekend.