Roberto Streit is quietly confident he can challenge for victory in the Macau Grand Prix after finishing a strong third in the pre-event qualifying race.

The Brazilian driver, who has achieved strong results at Macau in the past, made the most of a tardy start for pole sitter Carlo Van Dam to slip into a third position he wouldn't concede for the remainder of the race.

While he was made to work hard to hold onto the place as he resisted pressure from Oliver Turvey, Streit insists he was merely pacing himself in readiness for a victory challenge in the final.

"I'm really pleased with today's result," said Streit, who was starting his first F3 race of the season after a year racing in Formula Nippon. "The team have done a great job, the car felt good and I felt I was able to control my pace well.

"Today's race was about making up positions if possible and keeping the car in good condition for the main race tomorrow. I'm feeling confident about tomorrow and with some luck on our side as well, we might be with chance of a great result."

Away from Streit's performance, the day was otherwise disappointing for the Raikkonen Robertson team, who were winners with Mike Conway two years ago. Indeed, after struggling in qualifying, Atte Mustonen was the innocent victim in another driver's accident, while Michael Ho crashed out soon afterwards too.

"I'm delighted with Robert, he's done a great job so far this weekend, and he drove a very mature race today," said team principal Anthony Hieatt. "He hasn't put a foot wrong this weekend, and I hope that he can make the most of his good starting position tomorrow without being involved in any accidents.

"It's very easy to be caught up in other people's accidents in Macau, and that's exactly what happened to Atte today. He'll be starting from the back of the grid tomorrow, but I'm sure we will see some good racing from him."