Hugh Barter performed admirably in the opening round of the FIA F3 season in Bahrain taking fifth place in qualifying for Campos.
The Australian driver is eagerly anticipating his home event in Melbourne this weekend and shed light on the extra pressure that comes with a home race in an exclusive interview with insideF2.
“Naturally there’s more pressure involved in having your home race.
“You want to do everyone proud and perform in front of all the people that have helped you get to where I am.
“I don’t want it to affect my driving too much, at the end of the day it’s still just another round I have to treat as another event and drive to the best of my capability.
“I want to walk away from the meeting happy with my performance and feeling like I didn’t leave anything on the table.”
Despite being only 17, Barter has a wealth of experience in motorsport winning the 2019 Victoria Kart Championship – KA4 and finishing second in French and Spanish F4 last year.
The Australian began Karting at a very young age and said he always had a passion for motorsport before rising through the ranks in karting.
“I started Karting when I was five years old, I got into racing when I was two. I always had a natural love for the industry.
“Not just motorsport but cars and mechanics and stuff like this. I went to see Formula 1 when I was two and it grew from there.
“Dad saw the love that I had for the sport and the passion and then he was kind enough to get me my first go kart when I was five and it grew from there.”
Qualifying is vitally important in the ultra-competitive FIA F3 championship. Barter said managing the tyres over a single lap is critical, particularly at circuits such as Bahrain.
“It’s really just taking your experience from the previous push and bringing it to the next push.
“In Bahrain, it was single pushes on three sets of tyres for us at Campos and there were other teams that did the same strategy and you’re virtually driving blind in the first three corners.
“You don’t know what grip level you’re going to have so it tends to be a bit hard to estimate if your braking too early for Turn 1 or you’re going to brake too late.
“Sometimes it’s better to pull back in the first three corners, play it safe and then finish the rest of the lap off as fast as you can.
“It’s better to drive clean and have a good lap then making a really good sector one, a really good sector two and then over pushing in the last sector because you wanted to drive on the edge the whole time. So I think that’s the way to approach qualifying.”
The wheel-to-wheel combat was manic in Bahrain and Barter said it is much more attacking than in F4.
“Naturally it’s going to be a hard transition. It’s way more aggressive that’s for sure.
“Its very push and shove sort of driving but it reminds me a bit of go-karting so I’m just going to have to channel my inner karting driving, stick my elbows out and I’m a lot more ready for round two.”
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