MONACO — Formula One driver Charles Leclerc has asked fans to respect his privacy after his address was leaked, leading to some turning up at his apartment in the past few months.
The Ferrari driver, who is from Monaco and lives in the tiny principality, pleaded with his supporters not to go too far. Four suspects were arrested recently in Italy, accused of stealing an expensive watch from the driver. The thieves got close to him by posing as fans.
“For the past few months my home address has somehow become public, leading to people gathering beneath my apartment, ringing my bell and asking for pictures and autographs,” Leclerc posted on his Instagram account Sunday. “While I’m always happy to be there for you and truly appreciate your support, please respect my privacy and refrain from coming to my house.”
Leclerc, who has won five races for Ferrari and taken 18 pole positions, said he will always stop for autographs and photos from fans in the street.
But there is a limit to what he is prepared to do and will no longer respond if fans come to his door.
“I won’t be coming downstairs if you visit my home,” he wrote. “Your support, both in person and on social media, means the world to me, but there is a boundary that should not be crossed.”
Leclerc finished second overall in the F1 championship last year but was way behind runaway winner Max Verstappen.
Leclerc has made a difficult start to this season, failing to finish two of the three races and scoring only six points to put him a lowly 10th in the standings.
Leclerc crashed out on the opening lap of the Australian GP in the last race, and retired from the season-opening GP in Bahrain on Lap 39 after losing power while running in third place.