Hugh Barter says “I’m interested to see how Nikola (Tsolov) and I compare” in FIA F3 after their battle for the Spanish F4 championship last season.
Barter is continuing with Campos this season after finishing second with the Spanish outfit in 2022 whereas Tsolov is switching to ART.
The Australian driver undertook a productive pre-season test in Bahrain ahead of the opening round of the year at the same venue this weekend.
The 17-year-old said to insideF2: “I’m interested to see how Niko and I compare, we’re in different teams this year bur the main focus for me is hoping that I come away from the weekend feeling like I left nothing on table.
“I don’t want to compare myself too much with people in their first year as well.
“I just want to do the best I can but it’ll be cool to race against Niko him and I have good relationship and we had some really good battles last year so maybe it’s an opportunity for another one.”
Barter is feeling positive heading into Bahrain and explained that setting a quick time on the 15-turn circuit is down to fine margins and keeping errors to a minimum.
“Going into Bahrain I’m feeling quite good obviously leaving on a test was a massive positive.
“One giving me a bit of confidence and two just the feeling of how it feels to finally put a lap together and just comfortable with the car.
“Extracting a lap at Bahrain, in general in this series is more about putting a lap together, making minimal mistakes.
“In this series that’s really what it comes down to at the end of the day. You can say as much as you want ‘I had two tenths in that lap, I had one tenth here’ but it doesn’t matter unless you can put it together.”
The Australian is joined at Campos by Christian Mansell and Pepe Martí who competed in a full campaign of FIA F3 this year.
Martí’s wealth of experience has been invaluable to Barter as he adjusts to the step up in machinery.
“Learning from Christian and Pepe has been quite good for me.
“Pepe did a full season so he knows a little bit more and it’s his second season with the team as well so he’s a really good team mate to have, he’s very knowledgable and he’s very serious when it comes to set up and how we go over things in the team.
“The communication is good, he’s been with Campos since F4 and I did F4 last year with Campos so him and I have a really good understanding with the team itself
“At the moment the relationships really good and just bouncing ideas back and forth between each other is really good.”
FIA F3 features an ultra-competitive 30-car field. Barter explained he would be content with finishing in the top 15 in Bahrain on his debut in the series.
“Everyone wants to win as much as they can but I’ll be happy to walk away from this weekend in the top 15, I think that’s a reasonable goal but up the front as much as possible is the aim.”