Right on cue, Tommi Makinen delivers. Kris Meeke is extolling the four-time World Rally champion's virtues as a team principal when the Finn emerges from a side room. Seeing his latest signing talking to Autosport, he breaks into a broad grin.
Walking past us, he holds his arms up and makes a cross above his head. "Team photo is cancelled," he says, sounding like a Finnish schoolboy who's just talked his way out of detention. What now then, Tommi? Said picture is the last official engagement of the day.
Any ideas how the hour or so can be passed before a flight out of Birmingham and Autosport International's WRC launch? Makinen pauses, mentally testing a most-British of answers. Word perfect, he grins again and returns with a one-worder that doubled as an answer and invitation: "Pint."