Mr Experience: Kimi Räikkönen going for all-time record.

The Iceman Kimi Räikkönen is accelerating toward a mega F1 milestone, with the Finn able to top the all-time list, as the sport’s most experienced pilot - should the season extend to at least 11 races.

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The Iceman Kimi Räikkönen is accelerating toward a mega F1 milestone, with the Finn able to top the all-time list, as the sport’s most experienced pilot - should the season extend to at least 11 races.

Räikkönen is one of just five drivers to have notched-up 300 Grand Prix starts, with Rubens Barrichello the current outright record holder on 322 - 10 ahead of The Iceman.

Incredibly, Räikkönen will start the 2020 season exactly where he passed the 300 mark last year - in Austria.

… where he’s scored three podiums in nine visits, his best - second with McLaren in 2003, and again with Ferrari in 2018. The Finn was ninth there with Alfa Romeo Racing last year.

… as part of a consistent point-scoring run in the season’s first half - with eight top-10 appearances from the first 12 races - before things dropped-off, a major upgrade in Singapore compromising performance.

SOUNDBITE (English) KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN, 2007 F1 WORLD CHAMPION: “We Alfa Romeo Racing didn’t really end up last year where we wanted. But we had a really good, let’s say, first half of the season and then we struggled a bit. But, we try to make a better job of it this year - and we can learn from last year’s technical difficulties and hopefully we don’t need to repeat it this year.”

But, while the Italian marque’s new challenger is an evolution of its 2019 predecessor, Alfa Romeo’s technical director Jan Moncheax says that in reality it shares very little in terms of carry-over parts.

SOUNDBITE (English) JAN MONCHAUX, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, ALFA ROMEO RACING: “It will share a lookalike livery, and let’s say the tyres and the rims. But, apart from that, it’s a brand-new beast.”

And that brand-new beast will need to be quick out of the box in Austria, with Alfa Romeo racing in the sport’s brutal midfield.

SOUNDBITE (English) KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN, 2007 F1 WORLD CHAMPION: “It’s obviously not as big a team as where I used to be, but it’s a nice group of people - and they’re working nicely together. Obviously we know that we have some areas that we cannot match the big teams, but we try to do the best with what we have.”

It’s all-in for Räikkönen, as the 40-year-old prepares for what could be his final season in the sport.