Toyota will not enter Sébastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi on the same events next season, despite having the option of a fifth Yaris Rally1 to run later in the year.
DirtFish outlined the team’s plans to run five cars on selected WRC rounds next season – with the expectation that Lappi would drive alongside Takamoto Katsuta in the Japanese manufacturer’s Next Generation team.
Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has however confirmed that will not be the case in 2022.
“That’s not the way we are thinking,” Latvala told DirtFish. “It’s clear we want to have Sébastien [Ogier] and Esapekka [Lappi] in the third car and swapping.
“That fifth car is a seat on the Next Generation team and we have kept it as an option for a customer.
“We haven’t done any decisions on customer cars and I want to underline that. But we have looked at that option and we will look more at that option.”
Latvala added that experience of the rallies wasn’t a major concern for Lappi – even when Rally New Zealand is concerned.
“If Ogier does go to New Zealand then it’s not so important for Lappi to go, because, from what we understand, the thinking is more towards Australia for the future.
“I guess the only time this plan not to run Ogier and Lappi on the same event could change is if we are fighting for manufacturer points towards the end of the season.
“Then this might be something we could use [with Toyota’s second-string Next Generation squad registering and taking manufacturer points]. But right now this is not our target.”