Having held off a ferocious attack from Charles Leclerc at the Italian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz was again having to defend on Sunday night, this time from would-be thieves who tried to make off with his Richard Mille watch.
Sainz had an eventful Sunday in Italy, where the Spaniard’s day started on a high note as he lined up on pole position at Ferrari’s home race and led the opening 14 laps of the race.
Defending for all it was worth, he was eventually overtaken by Max Verstappen with the Red Bull driver going on to win the race while Sainz had to fight off his teammate Leclerc for third.
Carlos Sainz chased down thieves in Milan
He did that successfully, a tense battle between the two, to claim the final podium spot by 0.184s ahead of the Monégasque driver.
In Milan later that evening to celebrate his first podium of this season, Sainz was reportedly robbed near the Armani hotel – and while still in his Ferrari kit!
The thieves tried to make off with his £500k Richard Mille watch but Sainz was having none of it and, according to The Sun, chased them down and recovered his watch.
The British newspaper reports that Sainz “chased them with members of the public, who saw the robbery take place.
“The Spanish driver managed to catch the robbers and recover the precious Richard Mille watch while police have now arrested two suspects.”
— FormulaNerds 🤓🏁 (@Formula_Nerds) September 3, 2023
Carlos Sainz confirms attempted robbery in Milan
Speaking about the incident, Sainz subsequently confirmed on social media that it had taken place, writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Monday morning: “As many of you already know, yesterday we experienced an unfortunate incident in Milano.
“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.”
It marked the end of an eventful day for the 29-year-old, who had been asked just hours before the robbery if Monza had been his ‘best weekend overall in F1’.
He replied: “I’m not sure in F1. I’ve done other strong weekends in F1 that maybe got a bit unnoticed when I was in the midfield where I felt I extracted everything out of the car.
“Of this year, for sure, of my Ferrari career probably.
“Of my F1 career, it’s a tough call but I felt like this weekend I was on it from the beginning, comfortable with the car, especially over one lap. I felt really, really at home and I could put together strong laps yesterday and snatch pole.
“Today was again a bit tougher and it shows me exactly where we need to keep working on and where I will put my head down and keep pushing the team to keep working on our tyre understanding and our race pace understanding.”
Sainz isn’t the first Formula 1 driver robbed of a watch with Lando Norris targeted by thieves after England’s Euro finals loss to Italy.
Charles Leclerc has also been targeted before.