One of three Formula 3 drivers to be racing in front of a raucous home support this weekend, Hugh Barter says that Melbourne should be another strong weekend for Campos Racing.

The 17-year-old arrives in Australia 16th in the Championship, though that does nothing to truly indicate his and Campos’ performance levels in the opening round of the season. Qualifying fifth on his F3 debut, there is potential for a strong home result. Barter says he’s been embracing the local support and soaking up what is building up to be an electric atmosphere from start to finish this weekend.

“I'm thrilled to be here. I mean, it's a surreal feeling to be racing in your hometown. The circuit looks extremely fast. I think it's really going to promote mistakes. The walls are very close. You can just clip the grass and go to the inside or outside wall. We'll see how it goes. Obviously, no one's been here, it's just a matter of making most of the track time.

“Being the Australian GP and at home, it's a lot of media, a lot of eyes on you, a lot of attention, but it's been fun. I can't complain. It's a lot of people supporting me that want me to do well and I'm just grateful for all the support.”

Last time out in Sakhir there were several incidents that kept him out of the points. A puncture all but ended his hopes of scoring in Bahrain, but the experience was vital for Barter at this early stage of his F3 campaign.

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The rookie was surprised with the no quarter approach to racing in Round 1 but will not be taking anything for granted this time around. Barter says he will be getting his elbows out from the very outset to secure a strong result, something he and the team feels is more than achievable.

“Qualifying in Sakhir was amazing. As a rookie and coming from F4 especially, it's not something you expect on debut. I mean, as much as you want to put on pole or be in the top 10, you have to match your expectations and putting it P5 was a crazy feeling.

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“Turn 1 and Turn 2 in Bahrain, I was four wide at one stage, then it went to three wide and then ended up with me off track and it's just not something you can prepare for I guess. That’s something you just have to experience first-hand.

“We know where we’re lacking and where we need to improve and it was just a shame that we couldn’t transfer that P5 into some points. Coming into this round, working as hard as we did in Bahrain, there's lots more to come. I'm just ready to come into this weekend with elbows out. Bring it on.”

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Ahead of the action getting underway once again in Melbourne, Barter says the team has had plenty of time to reflect on what went wrong in Round 1. A better start this weekend off the line will go a long way, but the team is confident that its underlying pace puts all three of the drivers in a good position at this early stage of the year.

“That's the job as the team and the driver to find what you need to improve, otherwise you won't be in a job. Just going around in circles and not knowing what to do, there's no point in that.

“I’d say the major point is our starts, they were really poor at Bahrain, and it really cost us but besides that, we saw the pace was good. After I had the puncture, the race pace was really strong. We'll see what we can do this weekend.”

Already Barter is looking to have a clean weekend despite hopes of a strong home result. The Campos driver says that points are be more than achievable, but that an all-or-nothing approach would not make, but could instead break his chances of scoring.

“Points are the aim. Okay, the win would be nice, but we know, and we've seen it in past Championships, you’re not gonna have to win every single race to be Champion. I think F3 is one of the very few exceptions where you see so many people going for the Championship at the same time. I think Victor Martins had an average finish was finishing position of P7 last year and no poles, so anything's possible.”