My acid test of a good bloke in F1 is whether you would be happy sitting next to them on the 22-hour flight from London to Melbourne at the start of the world championship season.

116886303 I never tried it with the late Ove Andersson, but I did sit next to him on the 7-hour slog from Shanghai to Dubai coming home after  the 2006 Chinese GP and his delightful company reinforced my impression  that the former Toyota F1 team principal  was a genuinely first rate guy.

Andersson, who was killed last week in a road accident during an historic rally in South Africa, was responsible for shaping Toyota's international motorsport presence  over a period of 30 years, initially behind the wheel but increasingly as a top class administrator and strategist.

On the face of it one might be forgiven for thinking that the alliance between the avuncular  Swede and his Japanese employers, with their structured thinking and penchant for doing things their own way rather than relying on outside assistance, would be a recipe for strife.  Yet Andersson managed to strike just the right balance of deference and independent spirit to make their partnership work really well.