Someone Give Charles Leclerc His $320,000 Watch Back
The championship-leading Ferrari driver got quite a welcome to Italy for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Being a Scuderia Ferrari driver in the lead of the Formula 1 championship is as close as you can possibly get to being Holy in Italy without being Il Papa himself. Yet the faithless know no borders, and one of them has reportedly stolen the watch of F1 championship leader Charles Leclerc in the lead up to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
Based on a combination of reports from Italy's Corriere and Motorsport, Leclerc and his trainer Andrea Ferrari were apparently in the marina of Darsena Lucca in Viareggio, Tuscany around 10:00 pm Monday when they were approached by one or more fans seeking pictures. During the encounter, it is believed someone with slick fingers slipped off Leclerc's watch—believed to be a Richard Mille RM 67-02 valued at $320,000—without the driver noticing. The culprit was then able to safely escape, allegedly due to the area's poor street lighting according to Leclerc's trainer, who posted about the incident on Instagram.
"It's been months since Via Salvatori has been completely in the dark," read one of Andrea Ferrari's Instagram stories. "We've been reporting this for months. Well, last night in via Salvatori they robbed us. Do you plan to fix the street lamps sooner or later? I ask for a friend."
Local police are reportedly investigating, and working to determine if the theft was premeditated or merely a crime of opportunity. In either case, the thief will likely find offloading the watch extremely difficult, if that was their motivation. If Leclerc's watch was as rare as the one mugged from McLaren driver Lando Norris ahead of the British Grand Prix last July, it will be tricky to liquidate without attracting suspicion—Norris's mugging culminated in at least one arrest according to The Sun.
Regardless, the seemingly less violent circumstances of Leclerc's watch theft aren't as likely to shake the Monegasque driver as Norris's did him. A clear head, after all, will be of the essence going into one of Ferrari's home races, even with a comfortable lead in both championships.
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