Basil Shaaban aims to be the first Arab driver in F1, and with a little support from F1 head-honcho Bernie Ecclestone, he just might make it.
Shaaban was born in Lebanon, raised in the Emirates and studied astrophysics at Berkeley in California. Having raced in the A1 GP series for the Lebanese team, he is struggling to find the financial support to continue racing in the British F3 series. From Formula 3, Shaaban hopes to move up to GP2, the second-tier stepping-stone race series run by Renault chief Flavio Briatore, before eventually making it into Formula One.
Ecclestone has expressed his support, and no wonder as he endeavors to increase F1's presence in the oil-rich Arab world. The grands prix in
Dubai Bahrain and in nearby Istanbul bring F1 to the Middle East, and Basil Shaaban could be the first to bring the Middle East to F1. Shabaan says his aim, beyond racing and winning, of course, is to promote something positive from the Arab world. Good luck, Basil.