A star is nothing without their fans, but Charles Leclerc needs his supporters to pump the brakes.
The Ferrari Formula 1 driver took to Instagram this weekend to ask fans to stop showing up at his door, reports The New York Times. Leclerc made clear he will still make time for his supporters—just not at his personal residence.
F1 has experienced a boom in popularity over the last few years thanks to the success of the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive (a dramatic end to the 2021 season didn’t hurt either). This has turned many of the sport’s best drivers, including Leclerc, into international celebrities. We imagine the Ferrari team member has enjoyed plenty of the perks that come with being famous—like access to custom Ferraris—but he’s also experienced its downsides, especially after the address of his private residence leaked online. Since then, a number of fans have shown up uninvited to his apartment in Monaco asking for autographs and photos.
“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 wrote in a since-expired Instagram story. “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 has good reason to worry about people he doesn’t know getting too close. The driver’s exclusive Richard Mille RM 67-02 was stolen when he stopped to pose for selfies with a group of fans in the Italian resort town of Viareggio in April of last year, according to USA Today. During the incident, two individuals posing as fans allegedly snatched the $320,000 timepiece from Leclerc’s wrist and escaped on a scooter. Earlier this month, Italian authorities announced that they had made four arrests connected to the theft, though it was unclear if the watch had been recovered.