Lappi: I did not deserve a full seat with Hyundai in 2024

Esapekka Lappi admits that he did not deserve to have a full-time programme with Hyundai Motorsport in 2024 as his 2023 season had its ups and downs while he mentions that he decided to step back for the good of his children.

The Finn driver had four DNFs during the past season, but he managed to find pace with his i20N on the first half by finishing in podium positions for three rallies in a row. However, the most important thing is that he was fighting for the first place and was the rally leader in many occasions, but he was not able to take his second win in World Rally Championship. For instance, he was in the battle for the rally lead with Sebastien Ogier in Mexico nine months ago, but he was forced to retire when he had a heavy crash in Stage 11. EP was a team player in 2023 and will do the same thing in the upcoming season as he will try to help Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville on their fight with Elfyn Evans for the next year's championship. At Rally Italia Sardegna last June, EP was fighting for the lead with Sebastien Ogier, but he slowed down his pace when he saw that his rival went off the road resulting in letting his teammate Neuville to overtake him on the classification and to take his first victory of the season with the Hyundai i20N Rally1. Finally, it must be mentioned that the Alzenau-based team announced three drivers for the third i20N with EP taking part in the fast gravel rallies in 2024.

"For sure part of me is really competitive, but on the other hand my season was 50/50, I was doing good job at times – middle season was really promising and good, beginning of the season was a bit of a learning, and end of the season really bad", Lappi siad.

"But I was not also deserving to be the number one driver, I made so many mistakes that it was not deserved.

"I think less rallies will help.

"Always professionally you have a lot of pressure. 

"But personally yeah as well. 

"The kids are missing me a lot, and that’s a problem. 

"I mean, I want to be there for them.

"And that’s been stressing me a lot. 

"I’m not saying that that’s the reason for the poor results, but for sure there is an effect".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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