Several drivers called Latvala about Toyota WRC seat

Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala's phone has been ringing aplenty from drivers hoping for a Toyota seat


Who will be driving for Toyota next year? That’s an answer everyone in the World Rally Championship has believed to be a safe bet.

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has stated previously that he would like to retain his current driver lineup for next year, but speaking to the media ahead of Rally Spain he did admit that he’s now being approached by drivers outside of the team and that at this stage, no final decision on who will be behind the wheel of a GR Yaris Rally1 has been made.

“Yes, there are some drivers contacting us,” was Latvala’s response when asked if there were drivers lining up at his door trying to get a drive with the team.

I think he [Tänak] and Kalle are the fastest in the championship. But then, is it good for the team, for the championship? Jari-Matti Latvala on the idea of Rovanperä and Tänak as team-mates

“[A decision on the driver lineup] needs to be at the end of the year, but unfortunately at the moment there are some contractual things that are still open, so I don’t have updates at this point.

“But I hope by Japan, then things will be cleared up, to announce the drivers there.

“But, at this point, everything is still open.”


Sébastien Ogier has indicated that he would like to remain part of the Toyota squad next year as has Esapekka Lappi, but the Toyota team principal admitted that the final decision isn’t solely down to him.

“Sébastien has an interest to drive some rallies next year, and Esapekka would also like to do rallies.

“So yeah, we have to get everything working out and we are working on that. But as I mentioned, there are also some other drivers contacting us.

“But if like I have said, we win all the titles with this driver lineup then I raise the question ‘is there any point to change the lineup’?

“In my opinion no. But it’s not depending on me.

“So we have to discuss with the drivers, and I hope to finalize everything by Japan.”

But what if Latvala and others within the company have different ideas of what the ideal Toyota lineup is?


“Then, we have to discuss carefully of course, what the benefits are,” said Latvala.

“We know that Ott Tänak is a fast driver, one of the fastest drivers; I think he and Kalle are the fastest in the championship. But then, is it good for the team, for the championship [to have Tänak in our team]?

“These are the things we need to discuss, and I think what is good for us is that we can have a good communication so we can discuss and finetune, so we are all happy with the decision.”

Words:Rob Hansford, Colin Clark