The air is - as one expects within any McLaren hospitality unit - crisply conditioned despite the sultry 35C Sepang humidity raging outside.
The team has come to Malaysia off the back of a provisional - subsequently confirmed - two-three in Melbourne, so spirits are high. However caution reigns, for, if anyone fully understands the enormity of the task facing a team once synonymous with winning, it is 51-year-old Jonathan Neale, McLaren Racing's COO and acting CEO.
Before going on record we touch upon (former team principal) Martin Whitmarsh's (still undefined) career realignment, and predictably Jonathan bats curveballs across the boundary markers. Clearly the subject of the man who led McLaren's Formula 1 effort before stepping out/aside/down/away is off-limits.