Charles Leclerc costs rapper Drake almost £200,000 at Spanish GP after betting fail

F1: Spanish Grand Prix preview

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Charles Leclerc has cost rapper Drake £186,000 after being forced to retire during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. Drake had placed a huge bet on the Ferrari man to land victory in Barcelona ahead of the race, which was ultimately won by Max Verstappen.

Drake has a partnership with cryptocurrency platform Stake and used it to back Leclerc, who had won two of the opening five Grands Prix. “First F1 bet, let’s see how it goes,” the Canadian wrote on Instagram as he anxiously awaited the result of the Spanish contest.

The 35-year-old was probably confident of winning his bet as Leclerc started on pole and led the race for 27 laps. And had he gone on to cross the finish line in first place, Drake would have been set for a return of £470k.

But the Monegasque driver saw his hopes of clinching top spot fall by the wayside after his Ferrari suddenly lost power before the halfway stage. And Verstappen took full advantage as he leapfrogged his title rival at the top of this season’s standings after Sergio Perez ceded his lead for his Red Bull team-mate late on.

Drake then had salt rubbed into his wounds after Leclerc claimed he would have won in Barcelona had it not been for his power failure. “With the laps I had done, honestly everything was going really, really well,” the 24-year-old said after the race had finished.

“I think it would have been difficult for them to catch back because obviously there was already quite a bit of a gap and we had a very good degradation also on the soft tyre. We could do quite a few more laps compared to them. So yeah, overall I think we had the race under control.”

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Worryingly for Leclerc, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto then revealed he had no idea why the car had failed. “It was a sudden issue,” the 52-year-old explained. “I think we learned it first from Charles, first going on to the radio, and then from the engineers looking at the data. So it was really sudden. We do not have yet an explanation. So the power unit will be [sent] back to Maranello, travelling during the night, and we will disassemble it tomorrow morning.”

Drake has endured some unfortunate betting experiences over the last few years and has been branded as having a “Drake Curse.” It started after he became a global ambassador for his hometown basketball team Toronto Raptors as they subsequently went on to gain a reputation for choking in big games.

Tennis star Serena Williams then suffered a shock defeat to Roberta Vinci US Open semi-finals in the aftermath of meeting Drake. And UFC champion Conor McGregor also fell victim to the curse when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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