Latvala - Media pressure was too much for Rovanpera in Finland

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, believes that the expectations and the pressure were too high about Kalle Rovanpera's appearance at Rally Finland by the media after the results he achieved in the last three events.

Rovanpera claimed his first win in WRC at the age of 20 at Rally Estonia and he became the youngest ever driver who wins a WRC event.

At Acropolis Rally Greece, he won for a second time this season and he climbed in fourth position overall in driver's championship juust one point behind Thierry Neuville.

Since the young driver won Rally Estonia, an event that includes fast gravel roads such as Rally Finland, the media and generally all the fans of WRC were waiting to see how he will perform in his home event with the Yaris and they believed that he could win there.

But this was not happened as Rovanpera was forced to retire from the second day of Rally Finland after having crashed in Stage 10.

Despite the fact that he restarted on the last day of the event under the regulations of Rally2, he withdrew from Powerstage due to the fact that his back was aching following his Saturday crash resulting in scoring zero points for both championships.

"The biggest expectations were on Kalle", Latvala said to DirtFish. 

"But I think the pressure was too much for Kalle.

"The media, the friends, and the friends of the friends of course there is always expectation and I think the expectations went a bit too high, which was not necessarily giving him the best start for the rally.

"But I have to also remind that with Kalle’s side, this was his very first time to be in Finland with a World Rally Car, and you need that experience; you can’t win until you really have the experience of the World Rally Car in this rally.

"This is more from the media.

"Because from the media the expectations were high. 

"But it’s just the fact that when he did so well in the last three events, it’s very human that the expectation starts to go high.

"But everybody sort of forgot the realistic point that the previous Acropolis was eight years before, so everybody’s having a fresh start.

"Kalle did Estonia in 2020 with the World Rally Car. 

"But Finland he has never done with the World Rally Car.

"I can say of myself that I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was maybe expecting that he would really fight for the victory.

"So it’s just that we just sometimes forget the realities".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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