F1 driver Carlos Sainz reportedly chases down thieves who stole his $300K watch in Italy

Carlos Sainz appears to be fleet of foot in addition to being one of the world's fastest drivers.

After finishing third in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the F1 Ferrari driver reportedly chased down thieves who stole his six-figure watch on the streets of Milan.

Italian publication la Repubblica reports that three thieves approached Sainz on the street outside Milan's Armani Hotel. Per the report, they forcibly removed his Richard Mille timepiece then took off running down the street. His bodyguard gave chase with Sainz not far behind, per the report. People on the street joined in on the chase before the thieves were ultimately cornered in the upscale shopping district Montenapoleone.

Police eventually showed up, per the report, and took the thieves into custody. Sainz recovered his watch, which was valued at at least €300,000 ($323,970.00), according to reports cited by Reuters. Video posted on social media appears to show Sainz talking with police and passersby in the aftermath of the botched robbery.

Sainz later acknowledged "an unfortunate experience" on Instagram while thanking police and the people on the street who helped him.

"As many of you already know, yesterday we experienced an unfortunate experience in Milano," Sainz wrote. "The most important thing is that we are all OK and this will only remain as an unpleasant anecdote.

"Many thanks to all the people who helped us yesterday, to the Milan police for their quick intervention and thanks for all your messages."


Another F1 driver targeted for his watch

Sainz's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc experienced a similar misadventure in 2022. Two men with motorcycle helmets reportedly approached him on the streets of Tuscany and asked for a selfie. They instead removed his six-figure Richard Mille watch before taking off on scooters alongside two more suspects who fled in an SUV.

Leclerc reportedly gave chase in his street-legal Ferrari to no avail. Authorities shared footage of Leclerc in pursuit.

Police made arrests of four people nearly a year later who are suspected of carrying out multiple high-stakes watch thefts.

McLaren driver Lando Norris also had a watch stolen at Wembley Stadium after the Euro 2020 soccer final between Italy and England.