Would Toyota take Tänak back?

Ott Tänak moved to Hyundai in 2020, but as far as Toyota is concerned, its current lineup is a winning lineup


The swirling speculation the Acropolis Rally whipped up has Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala slightly bemused.

When DirtFish asked Ott Tänak if he would be driving for Hyundai Motorsport next season, he – despite having a contract with the team – offered a ‘wait and see’ response.

That, among other things, prompted a wave of stories through the WRC media linking Tänak to an M-Sport return. And when numbers on that narrative dipped, the next level was broached: Tänak could return to Toyota – the team he departed and took the world champion’s #1s with him at the end of 2019.

Anything is possible and nothing – at this level of professional sport – is personal.

“It’s business,” as one team insider told us.

But what about it?

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson talks to Tänak regularly. The pair are close friends and have remained for the most part of the former world champion’s career.

But what about Toyota? What about Latvala? Yes, there’s the on-event chit-chat, but has Ott knocked on the door in Jyväskylä.

Cue the bemusement.


“There hasn’t been any contact,” Latvala told DirtFish. “We know how fast Ott is – he’s one of the fastest in the championship and with him driving at Toyota for two years [in 2018/19], we know his strengths.

“But let’s say it this way: we have a very good driver lineup, so I raise the question of, if we win both championships, do we need to change something?”

Hard to argue with that.

Yes, there was a glitch in Greece, but Toyota doesn’t strike you as the sort of place in need of an injection of world championship-winning talent right now.