Jari-Matti Latvala criticizes himself – “I need to do a better job”

The results of Toyota, led by Jari-Matti Latvala, have not been as stellar as expected this season in the WRC.
Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala. Photo: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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Toyota drivers have won half of the six races so far this season, but Hyundai has started to pull ahead in the manufacturers’ standings. The pressure for success is high at Toyota, as the team’s primary goal this year is to win the manufacturers’ championship.

Latvala began his role as team principal for Toyota at the start of 2021. Since then, the Japanese manufacturer has clinched both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles each year.

This year, Toyota drivers Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta are competing in all rounds. Meanwhile, the team’s star drivers, Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä, are participating only in selected events. Notably, only the part-time drivers Ogier and Rovanperä have managed to claim victories this year, while Evans and Katsuta have shown inconsistent performances.

Latvala is taking some responsibility for the underwhelming performances.

“The situation is for sure not the best. I can say that I need to do a better job. I’m not managing necessarily the drivers the best at the moment,” Latvala admitted to Dirtfish.

Toyota is accustomed to better results. Currently, Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville has gained an advantage over Evans in the drivers’ championship, and in the manufacturers’ standings, Toyota is 13 points behind Hyundai.

Toyota is striving to improve and catch up to Hyundai in the upcoming rallies.

“I need to raise a hand and then try to see what I can do with them, to get the better performance out of the drivers. We can see the car is good. But at the moment, the driver performances haven’t been the best,” Latvala states.

In the previous WRC round in Sardinia, Ogier was in contention for victory for a long time but had to concede to Hyundai’s Ott Tänak due to a tyre puncture on the final stage. Evans finished fourth in the rally, while Katsuta had to retire once due to a technical issue.

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