Daniel Ricciardo and Paul Hembery front Pirelli's media breakfast this morning

Daniel Ricciardo was the headline guest at Pirelli’s Media Breakfast, held this morning at the prestigious Vue De Monde restaurant in the on the top floor of the 55-story Rialto Tower.

Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery fielded media questions along with Ricciardo at this morning’s event, and the British tyre director confirmed that Pirelli would be ramping up its approach with a view to producing more exciting racing for the 2012 season.

Daniel Ricciardo and Paul Hembery“We’ve really changed the compounds this year,” Hembery said. “In fact, the hard compound this year is much softer than last year’s ‘medium’ compound.

“We’re all excited to see what the cars are going to do,” I think we’re going to see more aggressive racing this year. Judging by winter testing, the cars seem to be much closer together in terms of performance.

“Another area we’ve worked on reducing are the marbles that have created debris on the racing line. From the initial testing this year, this seems to have improved.

“We’ve already sorted out the tyre compound selection for the first four races,” Hembery added. “The new rules have created some challenges, but ultimately our tyre selection will be driven by the race results and the quality of the racing.”

“Driving should be a little bit more on the aggressive side [this year],” Ricciardo echoed.

Of course, much of the local media attention has been directed Ricciardo’s way, and there are high expectations that he should do well in his first race for Toro Rosso.

And what support has he had from his compatriot, Mark Webber, who finished a famous fifth on his Formula 1 debut ten years ago with Minardi?

“Mark has told me not to get too overwhelmed by all of the media attention, to do what I have to do, but not lose sleep over anything,” he said.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.