Thanks to the nicely efficient folk at British Airways, my trip to Australia began with an unscheduled 24-hour stay at Heathrow Airport. I was not the only one affected by chaos over Europe that screwed up connections - I bumped into Pedro de la Rosa at the underground station as he tried to sort out his own disrupted plans - but that didn't make my late departure for Melbourne any less annoying. So late, in fact, that it put it me into team principal territory, for the bosses are usually the last folk to leave Europe for flyaway races.
Sure enough, a familiar face suddenly appeared in W.H. Smith in Terminal 4 on Tuesday evening. You somehow don't expect to see Flavio Briatore queuing up and buying magazines with the rest of us - I always assumed he'd be whisked away by flunkies via First Class lounges and secret VIP exits - but there he was, large as life.
What made the meeting even more fun was that Flavio was the man of the moment, for not long before news had emerged of his visit to Maranello to meet Max Mosley and the Ferrari management. This had come as news not just to the media, but to the other members of the GMPA, who had not anticipated any of their number kicking off such a dialogue in the very week of the 2008 entry deadline.