To attend the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 for any motor sport fan is an exciting feeling, especially for youngsters like Hugh Barter who has grown up living and breathing the sport.
This year’s event will be the 10th time the 13-year-old ventures to Albert Park, however this time it will be a little bit different with Barter chosen to be one of the Grid kids ahead of Sunday’s race.
For Barter, the opportunity to get to meet the sport’s biggest names personally is an exciting prospect, especially for an aspiring driver like himself.
“I am really excited. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I can’t wait for it,” Barter said.
“I love the adrenaline in Formula 1, as well as the strategy and how quick they go. It really pumps you up when you watch the races.
“This will be the first time I have been attending the Grand Prix in an official capacity and at this stage I don’t know too much about what to expect.
“I really want to meet some of the drivers and have a good chat with them about how they got into Formula 1 and try and use their knowledge to my advantage.”
While he loves watching motor sport from the stands, Barter is no stranger to the adrenaline and strategy of racing himself, with the Victorian competing in Karting since he was just seven-years-old.
Since making his debut in Karting six years ago, Barter has been slowly progressing up the ranks in the sport, claiming key scalps and strong results in the Rotex Pro tours in Melbourne.
His brilliant 2019 form continued after being named as a Grid Kid with an inspired Barter winning his first major event, the Australian Kart Championship in Ipswich.
It was an important milestone to reach, and Barter was proud to achieve it in his short career as he looks to move his way up.
“It felt amazing to win first my first major round ever,” Barter added.
“I must admit it was stressful what we did throughout that weekend because it had a mixture of highs and lows and there was a lot of adrenaline.
“Ultimately I want to get to Formula 1 but any type of motor sport would be great. In five years, I need to be in Europe if I want to get to the top level.”
As Barter continues to gain experience behind the wheel, the teenager knows what he has to do to one day get to Albert Park as a driver and not just a Grid Kid.
“Next year, I hope to get into Formula 4... and from there we need to find some sort of connection to Europe and organise an ‘Arrive and Drive’,” Barter explained.
“We will go there and try to impress people, try and get offered a full time drive in Europe and then hopefully work our way up.
“I am confident in my ability and I definitely need this confidence to excel. I have won some races in my time and I built my confidence from there.
“Add some solid seat time and you get to trust the car and now I have feel have what it takes and know what it takes to win and progress forward.”
This year’s Formula 1 season begins with the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 which takes place at Albert Park on 14-17 March.