Ferrari's fears of another reliability issue during today's Sprint turned out to be something entirely different as Baku feline uses up one of its nine lives.
Other than disgruntled former employees, defrocked priests and environmental activists, over the years F1 has witnessed various wildlife wander on to the track during events.
We've had deer, groundhogs, dogs and seagulls... and today it was the turn of a Pitpass favourite, a member of the feline community.
Running behind the Safety Car, just ahead of the restart, race leader Charles Leclerc uttered the word "cut".
With an eye on Ferrari's reliability issues this season – and pretty much every other season - some began to fear the worst.
However, other than losing out to Sergio Perez and Red Bull's mighty DRS, the Monegasque's Ferrari didn't miss a beat over the remaining laps, the youngster managing to hold off Max Verstappen for second.
Speaking after the race, when asked about the issue, Leclerc revealed that he hadn't said "cut" - in terms of a loss of power - but rather "cat" - in terms of a free-loading feline that clearly wanted to get closer to the action.
"There was a cat in the middle of the road and the Safety Car had to stop," he said, "I think I was probably the only one who saw that."
"I didn't see it, but maybe Max can adopt it," suggested Sprint winner, Perez, referring to his teammate who had been involved in a cat fight of his own.
"In the exit of Turn 1 there was a cat and the Safety Car braked," added Leclerc. "It wasn't too bad, but I just felt like I was going to say..."
Of course, in some western cultures, black cats have had a bad reputation since the middle ages due to their association with witchcraft and as a result even to this day it is difficult to rehome them due to superstition. Indeed, it is said to be particularly unlucky if a black cat crosses your path... which, seeing as Leclerc was passed by Perez shortly after today's encounter will do little to help their reputation.
Fears that in a further effort to spice up the action and level the playing field F1 bosses are considering random track invasions by members of the animal kingdom are not helped by claims that in anticipation of the Canadian Grand Prix Netflix executives are looking already advertising for someone willing to wear a bear costume over the course of the Montreal weekend.
Picture Credit: @SCUDERIAFEMBOY/Twitter
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