Kimi Raikkonen entered Formula 1 as a regular driver for Sauber-Petronas in 2001, having competed in only 23 car races previously.
By the age of 20, he had won the British Formula Renault winter series of 1999, winning the first four races of the year. In 2000, he won seven out of 10 events in the Formula Renault UK series.
On the basis of these results, Peter Sauber convinced by Kimi’s manager Steve Robertson, gave the Finn a test in September 2000 on the challenging Mugello circuit.
He very much impressed the team by his speed, very quickly equalling the times of the established drivers, and his cool, the Finn being unimpressed by the big jump from Formula Renault to F1.
He scored a point in his debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. Reportedly, Raikkonen was asleep 30 minutes before the race. The team had to wake him up, for him to be on time on the grid.
Kimi’s legend was born.