Basil Shaaban is confident

Arab driver Basil Shaaban takes to his Mercedes again this weekend after a disappointing display at the F3 Euro Series opener in Hockenheim last month.

The Shell-sponsored 28-year-old showed early promise in Germany before having his hopes crushed by hazardous weather.

Now Shaaban, who was born in Beirut and raised in Abu Dhabi, says he is confident of achieving the top-10 finish he dreams of ahead of this weekend's Tuscany test at Mugello.

"I feel confident for Mugello," he said. "If we get the car's set-up right I'll be looking towards qualifying at least in the top half of the field, and maybe the top 10. That's our goal, and from there we would stand a good chance of getting into the points for the first time.

"Mugello is a flowing and undulating 5.2km circuit with a combination of 15 corners with some significant elevation changes.

"It is an abrasive circuit, so tyre-wear is a big factor in strategy.

"We're still experimenting with brake pad compounds and with dampers, and are continuing this experimentation at Mugello as we try to find our definitive brakes and damper specification for the rest of the season."

HBR Motorsport, the team who backs Shaaban, will be looking for their recruit to start showing his experience having completed his first full season last year. Shaaban finished 20th out of a pack of 29 starters in Hockenheim.

"In qualifying, we had a wet circuit that was drying and ran a dry set-up, gambling that we would get to use slicks by the end," he said. "But the circuit didn't dry fully or come up to temperature. So I qualified way down the order, and when that happens you can't expect miracles for the races."
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