For the first time since the 2001 Japanese grand prix, Mika Hakkinen on Thursday morning drove a formula one car in anger at the Barcelona group test in northern Spain.
The 38-year-old Finn, whose role at the Woking based McLaren team in the future is unspecified, wore plain white overalls and his familiar tri-blue helmet livery with a blue-tinted visor as he completed a handful of installation laps on a clear and chilly morning.
He was also wearing a HANS-device on his helmet and shoulders for the first time, as the head-safety harness was made mandatory in formula only after his retirement.
Despite not getting the chance to post a competitive lap time in his initial runs, the seriousness of Hakkinen’s test was apparent with the sight of an aerodynamic recording device mounted on top of the airbox.
Also on Thursday morning, hopeful test driver Timo Glock made his debut for BMW-Sauber.