Back in September 2000 an almost unknown 20-year-old Finn got behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time during a private test at Mugello.
Kimi Raikkonen, still only in Formula Renault, caught the eye with his speed and aptitude, and impressed onlookers, which included Michael Schumacher.
Sauber realised Raikkonen’s potential, signed him to a 2001 seat, and the rest is history.
Now, 20 years on, Raikkonen will return to the circuit to compete at Formula 1’s inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, and with the same team for whom he first tested, albeit under its Alfa Romeo guise.
“The Mugello circuit is where I had my first ever test with Sauber, back in 2000, but I seriously doubt those days 20 years ago are going to give me that much of a competitive advantage,” he said.
“It’s going to be nice to be back on that track with the same team I was there with back in the day, but I don’t think we will have a lot of time to indulge in reminiscing about the past.
“We’re there to race and hopefully we can have a good weekend.”
Raikkonen is in the midst of the longest points drought in his career, having yet to score in 2020, amid Alfa Romeo’s troubled opening half of the campaign.
“The track is new to everybody and that could make things interesting, at least because nobody has any data about it and the drivers will need to get to grips with the circuit,” he said.
“We have been making some steps forward, both in qualifying and in the race but we haven’t been able to bring home some points yet, so that has to remain our objective for the weekend.”