Hugh Barter says it was “just more about proving that I can beat him” after Nikola Tsolov was crowned Spanish F4 champion at Navarra.
Barter performed admirably during the penultimate Spanish F4 weekend taking three victories on track only for a technical infringement to snatch the points from Barter and his Campos Racing team mates.
The Australian explained to InsideF2 that he anticipated his team mate Tsolov to win the championship but Barter wanted to show that he could get the better of his Bulgarian team mate.
He said: “Coming away from the weekend with three wins, a bit unfortunate not being able to keep the championship alive but it is what it is and I to be honest expected this to happen this round.
“So I think Nikola (Tsolov) only had to score 38 points so in the end that’s quite manageable for a driver of his standard so for me it was just more about proving that I can beat him and just doing the best I can and seeing what I can make of the weekend.
“Basically I knew I had the pace coming into the round so it’s just making the most of that.”
Post-race penalties for all six Campos cars including Barter, Tsolov, and Georg Kelstrup meant disqualification from Race 1 and 2 as illegal metallic grilles were placed over the radiators.
The Bulgarian had enough of a margin to keep the title as 17-year-old Kirill Smal inherited a double victory.
Despite an unfortunate set of circumstances, Barter enjoyed blistering pace and has improved over the past few rounds.
The 17-year-old said: “The pace at Navarra was encouraging, I think it’s not just Navarra that’s encouraging I think even after Valencia my mid set has changed completely.
“I think that’s where the pace started to come and then after that it was just more about confidence.
“Spa was a good weekend even though we only came with three second places I definitely knew that I could bring it to Nikola so I think it’s not a matter of like this weekend being a boost of confidence or anything.
“At Aragon I had two wins, I knew that was possible, Valencia, I was just as fast just too many mistakes and Spa it was the same thing.
“Drove really well and had good racecraft so I don’t think this one weekend has been the confidence booster it’s just a momentum thing that hopefully can carry onto the next round.
Heading into the last round of the Spanish F4 season, Barter holds a slim six-point advantage over Polish driver Tymoteusz Kucharczyk as the duo battle for second in the championship.
Prior to the penalties being applied, Barter felt confident after claiming second in the drivers’ standings.
He said: “Regarding the last round (at Catalunya) and Tymoteusz (Kucharczyk) I think I only have to score 13 points.
“So I think it’s just going to be more about not being so focused on the championship and just doing my own thing and just trying to prove a point that I have the pace now.
“I can take it to someone like Nikola so that’s the plan and that’s hopefully what comes of the weekend.”
Barter’s next outing is in the French F4 championship at Paul Ricard as he battles Frenchman Alessandro Giusti for the title on the 14-16 October.