Jenson Button and his wife Jessica were the victims of a brazen robbery in which police suspect the couple were gassed to allow the burglars to break into their rented villa in St Tropez.
The Buttons were staying in the villa with friends when the burglary took place but were unharmed. However, a number of items of jewellery were stolen, including Jessica Button's engagement ring.
"Jenson, Jessica and friends were on holiday in a rented villa," a spokesperson for Button said. "Two men broke into the property whilst they all slept and stole a number of items of jewellery including, most upsettingly, Jessica's engagement ring.
"The police have indicated that this has become a growing problem in the region with perpetrators going so far as to gas their proposed victims through the air conditioning units before breaking in.
"Whilst unharmed, everyone involved is unsurprisingly shaken by the events."
A source told the Sun newspaper: "Police have told Jenson they're convinced the burglars gassed the house using the air-conditioning units.
"Over the past five years, it's becoming an increasingly common way for top criminals to launch raids on expensive properties in the area without being disturbed.
"Jenson is convinced that's what happened too. The burglars were in the same room as him and Jessica, rifling through all their drawers.
"But they weren't disturbed at all because the effects of the gas gives the burglars free reign. It was the same for their three other friends - they were all completely out of it."