London Police Recover F1 Driver’s Stolen Ferrari 28 Years Later

Aside from some silly aftermarket mods, Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari is still in one piece.

byNico DeMattia|
London Metropolitan Police
London Metropolitan Police.


In 1995, former Ferrari F1 driver Gerhard Berger had his 1995 Ferrari F512 M stolen, after the San Marino Grand Prix in Italy. In an Oceans Eleven-style heist, two thieves stole Berger's Ferrari and his teammate Jean Alesi's Ferrari F355 from the hotel they were staying at. Neither Ferrari was ever seen again. Until now that is, as London's Metropolitan Police just recovered Berger's F512 M and it's miraculously still in one piece.

The Metropolitan Police were made aware of the Ferrari's stolen identity back in January when Ferrari flagged it during a pre-purchase inspection. A buyer in the United States requested the PPI from Ferrari while looking to export the F512 M from the U.K. But after Ferrari realized it was Berger's stolen car from 1995, it notified the Metropolitan Police, who stopped the export.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the Ferrari lived in Japan for most of its post-theft life, before being shipped to the U.K. late last year. At some point, Berger's F512 M received some aftermarket modifications, such as front parking sensors and a heinous-looking steering wheel.

“The stolen Ferrari—close to the value of £350,000 [$444,000]—was missing for more than 28 years before we managed to track it down in just four days," said Police Constable Mike Pilbeam. “Our enquiries were painstaking and included contacting authorities from around the world. We worked quickly with partners including the National Crime Agency, as well as Ferrari and international car dealerships, and this collaboration was instrumental in understanding the vehicle’s background and stopping it from leaving the country.”

It's unclear what happens to Berger's Ferrari now. Does he get it back? After all, it was his car that was stolen. Or does Ferrari take possession of it? "We are not commenting on who the car will go back to at this time," the Metropolitan Police told The Drive.

Regardless of where the Ferrari ends up, it's just good to know that it's been recovered. Hopefully, wherever it goes next, someone removes its aftermarket parking sensors, remedies the front bumper, and puts a stock steering wheel back on. Unfortunately, Alesi's F355 is still in the wild, but the recovery of Berger's Ferrari remind us stolen cars don't necessarily have to stay stolen forever.

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