Charles Leclerc robbed by ‘fan’ asking for photo as F1 star’s £250,000 watch is snatched

Lando Norris loves the Hamilton and Verstappen drama

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Charles Leclerc was reportedly robbed by a ‘fan’ who had stopped to ask the Ferrari ace for a photo in the Tuscan seaside resort of Viareggio on Easter Monday. Leclerc, who currently tops the F1 Drivers’ Championship standings, had his £246,000 watch snatched during the incident.

The F1 season continues in Italy this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is one of three races to take on the Sprint format. And, according to Italian news agency ANSA, Leclerc was with his personal trainer at the marina in Viareggio when a man snatched his watch and ran off. And the Richard Mille watch was said to be worth nearly £250,000.

Leclerc has been in scintillating form during the early stages of the new F1 season and made a winning start in Bahrain last month as he finished ahead of his Scuderia team-mate Carlos Sainz and Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton.

The Monegasque driver had to settle for second place at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix a week later as he was denied victory by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by the narrowest of margins. But Leclerc got back to winning ways at the third race in Australia as he cruised to victory ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and the Silver Arrows’ George Russell.

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The 24-year-old is one of the most talented drivers on the grid and has been tipped to become an F1 champion in the future. And he has put himself in pole position to win the title this season as his two victories means he is top of the Drivers’ Championship standings. And he has already built an impressive 34-point lead over second-placed Russell.

Ferrari chiefs will be hoping Leclerc’s unfortunate experience in Viareggio won’t impact him when he takes to the track for Friday’s practice session. And the driver admits he is just focused on more F1 success. “I understood the car very early in the season and I think that is helping me for now,” Leclerc said ahead of the latest Grand Prix.

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“This has been a good surprise. But yeah, we need to keep pushing obviously. For now, it’s going extremely well. There are a lot of things that will be quite crazy at Imola for us. Obviously, other than that, it will also be a race weekend where we’ll have a Sprint race. Whether it’s the right track to do it or not, I don’t know. I think we’ll have the answer after the weekend.

“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of excitement but we also need to make sure, as a team, that we don’t try and overdo things – because there will be a lot of expectations as always. We need to stay calm.”

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