Robert Kubica savoured his racing return to Monza last weekend with Alfa Romeo, in part thanks to the presence in the grandstands of many of his long-time supporters.
In Italy, Kubica subbed for a second time for Kimi Raikkonen who remained isolated at home after testing positive at Zandvoort for Covid.
The 36-year-old F1 returnee endured a challenging weekend that he concluded P14 in last Sunday's race.
But beyond the result, the man who was set to race for Ferrari before his career was disrupted by a rally crash in 2011, was overjoyed with an opportunity - perhaps his last - to race in F1 at the Temple of Speed.
"I always wanted to do [first practice] in Monza just because I always feel quite special emotions here," he said, quoted by RaceFans.
"It’s one of the tracks where I enter, whenever I’m coming to the paddock, if it’s ELMS or even some testing, it gives me a special feeling.
"In the end, 10 years ago, I was very close to racing for an Italian brand, which was probably one of my dreams. I raced for an Italian brand, a different one, but it was still a nice privilege.
"For sure we didn’t achieve what we were hoping for as a team as a final result. But we gave everything and I hope fans enjoy it and appreciate it.
"I would like also to thank the Polish fans because they was, extremely, a lot of flags. Surprisingly, more Polish flags than Italians here."
Kubica's interim will likely end when Raikkonen returns to the fray next week at Sochi. The Finn will head into a plush retirement at the end of the season and will be replaced at Alfa Romeo by Valtteri Bottas.
But the Swiss outfit still has one seat to fill, with F2 racer Guanyou Zhou and incumbent Antonio Giovinazzi regarded as the front-runners to get the drive.
Kubica therefore isn't holding his breath regarding a potential full-time return to F1.
"I have learned from my life that everything can happen from day to day, positive or negative," he said. "So never say never.
"But realistically, I think there are some other drivers who are probably higher on the list. I don’t know, you have to ask Fred [Vasseur].
"I have my racing programme with endurance racing, which of course normally I’m focused on all the attention there.
"This has been a bit different since Zandvoort, because I am here.
"I don’t know what [the future] will bring. But whatever it will bring, the future, I just have to wait and see."