Leclerc robbed of watch in Viareggio

2022 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc was the victim of a robbery in Viareggio, Italy yesterday in which his watch was taken, Ferrari has confirmed.

The Ferrari driver was in the seaside resort west of Imola ahead of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Corriere della Sera reported Leclerc was with his trainer Andrea Ferrari on Via Salvatori in the Darsena district when the watch was taken. The world championship leader is believed to have been approached by someone who requested a photograph with him at around 10pm on Monday evening.

The police are investigating the robbery. Leclerc has since posted a photograph on social media of himself in the Ferrari simulator.

Following the incident Andrea Ferrari criticised the lack of street lighting in the area in a post on social media. “For months since Via Salvatori has been completely in the dark,” he said. “We’ve been reporting this for months.”

“Well, last night in Via Salvatori they robbed us,” he continued. “Have you thought about fixing the street lamps sooner or later? I ask for a friend.”

Last year Leclerc’s rival Lando Norris was mugged for his watch at the Euro 2020 football final at Wembley stadium in London.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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35 comments on “Leclerc robbed of watch in Viareggio”

  1. Mark in Florida
    19th April 2022, 17:13

    Charles is now financially helping the locals. Involuntarily of course. Sad to see it but it’s the times we live in.

  2. According to ESPN it was a $320,000 Richard Mille… :)

    1. Methinks that anyone who wears a third of a million dollar watch out in public is asking for it to be stolen. I’ve got an old Casio calculator watch I can lend him.

      1. I mean. It’s something his sponsor gives him to wear, not like he had to pay for it.

      2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
        19th April 2022, 18:24

        Methinks that anyone who wears a third of a million dollar watch out in public is asking for it to be stolen.

        Blaming the victim. Classy.

        1. I don’t know if he’s blaming the victim or not, but in Italy I never carry anything expensive in public and I always keep my eyes on my wallet and other things I need with me. That’s reality of live. Still, I don’t know why this is news. I do like the sport and I care about all information as a fan, but I can’t say I really care to know whose watch was stolen or what did a driver have for breakfast today. That’s more for a gossip column.

        2. Precisely, blaming the victim.
          If instead of Leclerc was a woman with a sexy dress she was asking for it too James?

          1. Calling it victim blaming and comparing to women wearing certain clothes are cheap cards to bring up imo. Just common sense not to wear a watch in certain areas where some people may make less money in decades what the watch is worth. It doesn’t mean I side with the robber and not saying it’s justified just dont do it if for no other reason but for your own personal safety.

      3. Charles owns also a watch who looked like the one who was stolen. I understand the Sponsor give them watches to wear during events but this was ‘on his own time’. Personaly i don’t know the location but a beach boulevar should be safe.

        Also these watches are registrated and are worthless as you can’t sell them even worse if they catch you you get extra time because you stole from a rich guy it’s not he gets service sentence like the one who stole my watch (€ 45,-) and that hurt me much more…. I get to carried on to much…

      4. I don’t want to start with stereotypes but stereotypes…

  3. Now that’s gonna be a hit to ferrari’s championship hopes!

    1. Mark in Florida
      19th April 2022, 17:55

      Does that cut into the budget cap money? They might not be able to afford another front wing update! Seriously he should have been wearing a Casio G Shock instead. He looked like a walking ATM with that RM on. You’ve got to have some situational awareness when going out. I don’t walk in a shady neighborhood wearing my TAG it might attract people looking for a donation to their current cause, whatever that might be. Be smart off the track as well as on it.

      1. Ahah, indeed!

  4. How could he fail to feel the person touching his wrist unless he didn’t have the watch physically on?
    Oh well, only a watch rather than something valuable like a cellphone or wallet, but still, I’m surprised how racing drivers don’t seem to do any self-defense in public.

    1. Why would he defend himself?! His watch cost $320k – it would be something his sponsor gave him, and quite likely insured, so his actual loss was likely minimal (barring the obvious mental/emotional impact regardless).

      Had he fought back, he could well have ended up shot or stabbed.

    2. Like a pick pocket, when stealing a watch from someone, it is all about the timing …

      As far as self defense, I’m sure they have been taught to just let it go and don’t get hurt, especially when you are leading the championship. Given their fitness levels I would think the best form of defense would be to run like crazy.

      1. @Mooa42 But given their fitness level, self-defense against a gunless & knifeless person should be relatively easy. However, running like crazy is an equally good option.

        1. @jerejj how certain can you be that the individual isn’t armed though (i.e. that they might have a weapon hidden on them in case the person they’re robbing does try to fight back)?

          It’s not in the interests of the person carrying out the robbery in this case to start waiving a weapon around if they are relying on being able to get close enough to the victim to stealthily take the watch – but if things start going wrong, they might then resort to using a weapon to try and escape.

          Running away also only works if you’re aware of what the person is doing in the first place – as noted by others, if the person involved is relying on deception – i.e. posing as a fan wanting a photo, and then using distraction tactics at the point where he took the watch – then Leclerc wouldn’t have thought to try running when the person involved would have been deceiving him into thinking there was nothing amiss to begin with.

          1. @anon Valid point, but that person having a gun or knife would’ve supposedly got mentioned if he had one.

  5. If it was worth that much it must have been fantastic at telling the time.

  6. Charles Leclerc does indeed give the locals the time of day….

    1. And he will have to watch out next time!

    2. The Dolphins
      20th April 2022, 1:45

      Underrated comment. Tip of the hat to you, sir.

  7. I could sell my house 5 times and still need a couple grand to afford that watch. Items like that have no business existing in today’s world

    1. Wait until you find out how much his work vehicle costs – and he can’t even drive it on public roads!

  8. And he will have to watch out next time!

  9. The attitude of some of the comments on here is appalling. I admit he might have been best advised not to wear something so expensive but the view of some people seems to be a combination of it’s his own fault, he’s very wealthy and he shouldn’t be so stupid.

    These comments are callous and unsympathetic. I expect it was quite a shock to all those involved and quite upsetting.

  10. The rate at which crime strikes F1 staff is seemingly out of proportion to the rest of society.

    1. Just as their salaries

  11. To suggest that Leclerc does not have common sense shows the mentality of some people. It’s just rude. You know you are not dealing with a brainiac when they talk of common sense.

  12. 1st Lando Norris had his Richard Mille watch stolen.
    2nd Charles Leclerc had his Richard Mille watch stolen.
    3rd …. who is next?
    I guess Richard Mille will start to dish out knockoffs to the drivers to wear in public.

    1. @denis1304 sounds like a collector ….

  13. Verstappen was reported to say Leclerc’s watch was 20sec ahead of his watch, and never broke.

    1. Brilliant stuff Jazz. Made paging to last comment worth it.

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