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F1 Driver Charles Leclerc article highlights: 

  • Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing driver Charles Leclerc chased a team of thieves in a Ferrari 488 Pista in 2022 after the theft of his Richard Mille timepiece.
  • A full year after the watch heist, Italian authorities arrested four individuals they suspected of participating in the daring crime. 
  • The authorities released footage of the F1 driver giving chase, which showcased the famous racer piloting a 488 Pista after thieves who fled on a motorized scooter in the Italian town of Viareggio.   

How did thieves steal an expensive watch from an F1 driver?

According to authorities, thieves posing as fans of Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc approached the famous F1 driver for a picture. After getting close enough, the criminals stole the Richard Mille timepiece right off the Monégasque’s wrist. Of course, Leclerc couldn’t simply throw his hands up derisively and carry on. The F1 driver gave chase. 

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Driver Charles Leclerc cradles his helmet in his hands.
Charles Leclerc | Joe Portlock, Formula 1 via Getty Images

What happened after thieves stole Charles Leclerc’s watch?

The thieves split up and fled on a motorized scooter and in a crossover SUV, per Motor1. Still, even with the deception and confusion, Charles Leclerc hopped into the cockpit of a Ferrari 488 Pista and chased the thieves. 

Charles Leclerc drives a red Ferrari 488 Pista just like this one.
Ferrari 488 Pista | Ferrari

Fortunately, the Italian authorities, or Arma dei Carabinieri, report apprehending four individuals under investigation for the theft. Unfortunately, Leclerc’s experience isn’t unique; F1 driver Lando Norris also had a prototype Richard Mille stolen off of his wrist. However, in Norris’ case, he was reportedly relieved of his Richard Mille in crowd unrest.    

How much is the stolen Richard Mille watch worth? 

Charles Leclerc’s Richard Mille watch was reportedly a prototype worth $320,000, per ESPN. Unfortunately, that means the watch that the faux fans made off with is worth nearly as much as the F1 driver’s Ferrari 488 Pista that he used to give chase. 

Still, more specific reporting suggests that the timepiece was a prototype version of the Richard Mille RM 67-02, a uniquely shaped automatic watch available in a series of colors. Hodinkee says that the production version of the RM 67-02 retails for around $120,500.

F1 Driver Charles Leclerc celebrates a victory with his Richard Mille watch.
Charles Leclerc | Peter J Fox, Getty Images

Of course, Leclerc’s relationship with the timepiece manufacturer is deep-rooted. Observant viewers may catch the watchmaker’s name on the Scuderia Ferrari F1 cars.  

As far as chase vehicles go, the Ferrari 488 Pista is a solid choice

Beyond the stratospherically expensive Richard Mille watch on Charles Leclerc’s wrist, the F1 driver’s choice of chase vehicle is sound. The latest Ferrari 488 Pista models produced 711 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a screaming twin-turbo 3.9L V8 engine. The result of the 488’s explosive power reserves is evident; the Ferrari model will hit 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. 
What do you think of the Italian car chase? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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