Ferrari’s Formula 1 championship leader Charles Leclerc has said he is fully focused on getting his Italian team back to Imola this weekend, despite the theft of a watch that could be worth millions.
The 24-year-old Monegasque, winner of two of the first three races, had his exclusive Richard Mille watch stolen from his wrist in the Italian seaside resort of Viareggio on Monday evening. “I won’t go into too much detail. It hasn’t been a great experience. I can’t say much more than that,” Leclerc told reporters in Imola on Thursday.
“It’s all going on with the police and they’re trying to track them down. It hasn’t been as smooth as I’ve read but overall I’m fine and fully focused for the weekend. That won’t hurt me for this weekend.”
Edoardo Cetola, head of the Viareggio Carabinieri investigating the theft, told Reuters there were currently no suspects. “We are checking CCTV cameras to reconstruct all phases of the robbery and find important clues for the investigation,” he added.
A similar Richard Mille RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc watch was sold last year for 2.1 million Swiss francs ($2.20 million), according to italianwatchspotter.com. Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille is a sponsor of Ferrari and Leclerc wore his watch, which bears his initials, on the podium.
An investigative source said Leclerc was in Viareggio with coach Andrea Ferrari, who comes from the city, driving a black Ferrari 488. The theft took place when the Formula 1 driver was approached by two people wearing scooter helmets who demanded a selfie after he dropped the coach off at his house.
The source said Leclerc attempted to give chase in his car but was unable to follow the scooter. McLaren’s Lando Norris, who had a 40,000 pound ($52,140) Richard Mille watch stolen from Wembley Stadium last year during the Euro 2020 soccer final between England and England Italy, sympathized with Leclerc by SMS.
“I messaged her as soon as I saw the news,” he told Reuters. “When I go to events now, I organize them better, in the safest way possible,” said the Briton, whose watch has not yet been recovered. “Sometimes you forget these things that can happen.
“You can’t do much because you still want to lead a normal life and be able to walk the streets.” ($1 = 0.7672 pounds) (Additional report by Giselda Vagnoni, edited by Toby Davis)
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