Latvala - Lappi is in the strongest position for Toyota for 2022

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, hints that Esapekka Lappi is in the strongest position for a Toyota seat next year saying that the driver line-up will be finalised in October.

Lappi joined Toyota in the second half of 2017 and he continued as its driver in 2018 having achieved his first ever win in his WRC career at Rally Finland 2017.

However, he exited Toyota at the end of 2018 and he joined Citroen for the season 2019, but the French team left WRC at the end of 2019, so he became a M-Sport driver a year later.

The Finn driver stayed out of WRC this season as the WRC seats were not available, but he will compete in this year's Rally Finland with the fifth Toyota Yaris WRC.

It must be mentioned that Lappi competed this season in Artic Rally Finland and in Rally Portugal with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 of the private team Movisport having won both events in WRC2 category.

"We have to do it I would say, we need to do it, probably in October so in that month we have to do the decision," said Latvala when asked by about the timeframe of the decision for the third car.

"Of course we have been evaluating other drivers and also we still have a chance to look at Esapekka. 

"Esapekka is in the strongest position for us to have in the team next year, but there is still many drivers not having seat that you could have for next year so they’re still drivers on the market.

"I really hope Esapekka will do a good event and of course that would help our decision".

Moreover, Latvala answered when he was questioned about Sebastien Ogier's future in Toyota: "Nothing has been decided.

"He wants to drive in Monte Carlo. 

"This is clear, he has said he is not so eager to be in Sweden.

"He has mentioned that four to five rallies is something he is thinking about, but these are the discussions we have had so far, but nothing has been decided yet".

Finally, he avoided to give a clear answer about Kalle Rovanpera's and Elfyn Evan's renewal with Toyota: "Unfortunately I can’t confirm that at this point but of course it is looking good, very good".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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