Ecclestone mugged outside his HQ for £200,000 of jewellery

Just weeks after he spoke out against London's street muggers, the billionaire Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and his Brazilian girlfriend Fabiana Flosi have been attacked outside his Knightsbridge headquarters.

Mr Ecclestone, 80, had to be taken to hospital with a head injury after he was punched and kicked to the ground by a gang of four men. Jewellery worth £200,000 is believed to have been stolen from him and his girlfriend, including Mr Ecclestone's watch and a diamond ring. Ms Flosi, 31, was not injured.

No arrests have been made, but it is thought the gang may have been behind a string of targeted attacks on the rich and famous. "Police were called at 10.30pm on Wednesday 24 November to reports of a man and a woman robbed on Princes Gate," a Scotland Yard spokesman said. "The man was taken to a west London hospital for treatment to a minor head injury and was subsequently discharged. There were no reports of any other injuries. Officers from Westminster robbery squad are investigating.

"At this early stage it is believed a quantity of jewellery was stolen but we cannot disclose details of what was stolen as yet."

Mr Ecclestone was back at work the following morning, but showing a severely bruised right eye behind his black-rimmed spectacles.

The attack is a rather ironic vindication of comments he made in the wake of former F1 champion Jenson Button's car jacking in Sao Paolo before the Grand Prix three weeks ago.

"You have to remember we have a lot of problems in England, Oxford Street and places, and in New York people get mugged," Mr Ecclestone said at the time. "They look for victims, they look for anyone that looks like a soft touch and not too bright. They never go after them.

"The people that look a bit soft and simple, they will always have a go at."

His comments came after questions were raised about the continued staging of F1 in Brazil, which has a bad record for serious crime. Were it to be discontinued, his new girlfriend might find herself out of a job. Ms Flosi, a lawyer and model, is also Brazilian F1's vice-president of marketing for the country's Grand Prix.

The couple have known each other for some time but their relationship only began in earnest last October. Mr Ecclestone said at the time: "She's gorgeous but, forget everything else, she's a nice person – she has a good nature. On a scale of one to 10 about how positive I am of having a future with her, I hope it's 10 – but it's early days."

It has been reported that his daughters Tamara, 26, and Petra, 21, by his previous wife, Slavica, have refused to speak to Ms Flosi through solidarity with their mother.

Four years ago he was mugged as he parked his new Mercedes Benz outside his London mansion.

Should the stolen jewellery never be recovered, its value pales into insignificance when compared to the amount Mr Ecclestone lost in his divorce in March this year, made all the more costly by his unwise decision to place large amounts of his £2.4bn fortune in off-shore accounts in his wife's name, for tax purposes.

The settlement was was reported to be worth more than £1bn, with his ex-wife celebrating by taking delivery of a £36.5m private jet, allowing her to make more frequent visits to an orphanage she supports in Brazil.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living