Seeing the Haas F1 Team trucks lined up as I ventured into the Circuit de Catalunya's paddock late on Sunday afternoon provided an apt reminder of the oft-torturous and controversial path that had led the first American Formula 1 project in three decades to Spain, almost three years after its formation was first mooted.
Haas is not, of course, the first US team to set its sights on F1 this millennium. Nor even F1's first newcomer since the big-budget Toyota programme in 2002. In 2010, four newbies were listed, including the ultimately doomed USF1 project, whose $40 million business model sparked then-FIA president Max Mosley's ill-fated drive to attract budget teams.
It is also not the first to harbour ambitions of bringing constructors' glory to America. And not even the first 'Haas' to grace an F1 entry list. Those accolades belong to the unrelated Beatrice-Haas, which did score points even if it failed dismally in its ultimate quest. That said, it was a Haas car in entrant-name only; the chassis was built by Lola, which in turn owned the design's intellectual property.