Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has been a victim of a robbery in Italy.
The Monegasque had his Richard Mille watch worth around $320,000 swiped from his wrist at Viareggio, Tuscany, Italy.
According to reports, a small scrum of fans surrounded the driver for photos and autographs, and when that crowd died down he noticed the watch was gone.
The 24-year-old, who was in Tuscany ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, was recognized by a group of people when he entered Via Salvatori at around 10 pm.
Amidst the crowd of people in a poorly lit area, the unidentified thief took the opportunity to unhook Leclerc’s watch and escape.
Leclerc reported the incident to the police and the matter is now being investigated.
Authorities are investigating whether this was a crime of opportunity, or if the whole thing had been elaborately planned beforehand.
The watch, according to photos of the driver wearing it, appears to be Richard Mille RM 67-02.
Richard Mille is a partner of Scuderia Ferrari, the team Charles Leclerc drives for and it seems quite likely that he will have another one on his wrist before the on-track action begins this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was a victim of a similar crime while watching the 2020 Euro Final.
The Bristol-born driver had his £40,000 prototype watch taken in violent circumstances, while in Leclerc’s case, he initially didn’t even realize the robbery had taken place.
Leclerc’s late godfather, and former F1 driver, Jules Bianchi also had his Richard Mille stolen while in Paris in another similar event.
The unfortunate event does not take off any gloss on what has been a brilliant start by the driver in F1 this season.
He leads the driver’s championship after securing two wins out of three while finishing second to Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia.