F1 leader Charles Leclerc has $320,000 Richard Mille watch stolen

Charles Leclerc wearing his Richard Mille watch on the podium after winning the Australian Grand Prix. Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Formula One championship leader Charles Leclerc escaped unharmed after being robbed of his $320,000 Richard Mille watch in Italy on Monday night.

Leclerc reportedly had the watch snatched while with friends and his trainer, Andrea Ferrari, in the Tuscan city of Viareggio.

According to reports in Italian media, Ferrari driver Leclerc was recognised by fans who stopped him for autographs and photographs. In the crowd that quickly formed around him, a thief managed to remove the watch from Leclerc's left wrist.

Leclerc's trainer, Ferrari, posted to Instagram: "Via Salvatori has been completely in the dark for months. We have been reporting this for months.

"Well, yesterday evening in Via Salvatori, they have robbed us. Think of arranging the lamps sooner or later? Asking for a friend."

It is unclear whether anything else was stolen during the incident.

Local police have launched an investigation.

It is not the first instance of a Richard Mille watch being taken from the wrist of an F1 driver. McLaren's Lando Norris had a prototype Richard Mille stolen during the crowd trouble that followed the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley Stadium last summer.