Driving in the Formula 1 series is a dangerous way to earn a living. Season points leader Charles Leclerc found out the hard way on Monday that the celebrity status associated with racing in F1 comes with its own risks.
He escaped a chilling incident unscathed, but lost an expensive asset in the process.
Charles Leclerc tops the Formula 1 standings
Charles Leclerc has been preparing this year since 2018, his rookie season as a Formula 1 driver. After winning the GP3 series in 2016 and the Formula 2 championship the following year, Leclerc entered the top series with the Alfa team Romeo Sauber. Although he didn’t score or finish on the podium, Leclerc finished in the points often enough to finish 13and in the final standings.
He swapped seats at the end of the season with 2007 World Drivers’ Champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive for Scuderia Ferrari, where he has remained ever since. The impact was immediate as Leclerc won two races and stepped onto the podium after eight others, ending the year in fourth place.
The entire Ferrari program struggled thereafter, and the Monte Carlo native settled for eighth and then seventh place for the past two seasons. This year, however, has been exceptional. Leclerc won the Bahrain and Australian Grands Prix, sandwiched around second place in Saudi Arabia.
With defending champion Max Verstappen and runner-up Lewis Hamilton staggering out of the gate, Leclerc built a 71-37 lead over second-place Mercedes driver George Russell.
Charles Leclerc will be a candidate for road rage at Imola after being robbed
Ferrari star Charles Leclerc, 24, escaped unscathed but lost a $320,000 watch during a robbery on Monday evening in Viareggio, in Italy’s Tuscany region. The watch was a product of high-end jeweler Richard Mille. The Swiss watchmaker is a long-time sponsor of Leclerc and teamed up with Ferrari last year.
According to Sports car, Leclerc, trainer Andrea Ferrari and friends were enjoying a night out when fans recognized the driver and started flocking to him for photos and autographs. The combination of the growing crowd and poor lighting contributed to the thief who snatched the watch without Leclerc noticing. He ended up reporting the loss to the police soon after.
Ferrari, Leclerc’s coach, is from Viareggio. He posted on Instagram that local residents frequently complain about poor lighting in this part of town.
“Thinking about putting the lamps away sooner or later? Asking a friend,” he wrote sarcastically.
Leclerc and the F1 team are preparing for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, the fourth race of the season and the first weekend also featuring a sprint race.
Imola should be a wild weekend for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari
There are two Formula 1 races each season in Italy, and Ferrari, based 30 miles northwest of Bologna, is the “home” team. This weekend’s race at Imola is a stone’s throw from the Ferrari production centre, giving the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix an energetic feel. Drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will get the rock star treatment.
“There are a lot of things going to be pretty crazy at Imola for us,” predicted Leclerc before losing his watch in a robbery.
Adding to the excitement, the first of the sprint races of the season take place on Saturday. This means that additional points will be at stake.
“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of excitement, but we also have to make sure as a team that we don’t try to overdo it because there’s always going to be a lot of expectation,” Leclerc said. , according to Grand Prix 247. “We have to stay calm.”
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