What did he do? Jari Matti Latvala is the new team principal of Toyota WRC!

Jari Matti Latvala
Jari Matti Latvala photo by wrc.com

Just a year ago, Jari Matti Latvala was the Toyota WRC team driver. Remember that his Toyota Yaris combat vehicle helped the team win the Manufacturer’s title in 2018. However, on Friday, Toyota Gazoo Racing announced its full roster for the 2021 WRC. Who will represent Toyota WRC with Jari Matti Latvala in 2021? Will Latvala be able to protect the honor and dignity of the team and will Tommi Makinen really leave his rally team?


Toyota Gazoo Racing full line-up 2021.

As you already know, Jari Matti Latvala will replace Tommi Makinen, who will step down as Team Principal and become Toyota Motorsport Advisor at the end of the 2020 season. 

Latvala was elected Team Principal by Toyota President Akio Toyoda. What are the criteria? What is the benefit for the Toyota WRC team? It is unusual to see a person with no team management experience as Team Principal. However, there is an opinion that a driver with such a long participation in the WRC will bring new work experience that the team lacks. It’s hard to disagree, with an official source saying Latvala will “bring a driver perspective” to his management team of project manager Yuichiro Haruna, head of sports Kaj Lindstrom and technical director Tom Fowler.

Despite the rumors surrounding Sebastien Ogier’s career, the seven-time world rally champion confirmed he had delayed his retirement. Elfyn Evans and rising star Kalle Rovanpera will make a company to the champion, taking a wheel of Toyota Yaris cars.

Jari Matti Latvala Toyota WRC
Jari Matti Latvala Toyota WRC photo by wrc.com


Jari Matti Latvala and the high standards of the Toyota WRC team.

Jari Matti Latvala was runner-up in 2010, 2014 and 2015. After returning to the championship, Finn joined Toyota as one of the drivers in 2017 and produced a stunning start with second place at the inaugural Monte Carlo Rally and victory at the second round in Sweden. Jari Matti Latvala is undoubtedly a truly talented rally driver with a true passion for racing. He also has 3 years of experience working with Toyota WRC. But Finn is also very young, while the World Rally Team sets a high standard of quality for the team manager. 



Time will tell whether Latvala can manage one of the biggest rally teams, but one thing is clear: Jari Matti must be prepared to learn self-control and patience, to look at things objectively and also to learn to master situations where it is almost impossible. Andrea Adamao has qualities of a person that many cite as an example of leading a rally team. After all, it is difficult to manage a World Rally team, it is much more difficult to lead a World Rally team with a squad of the best drivers in the championship.

Tommi Mäkinen
Tommi Mäkinen 2018

Tommi Mäkinen

Tommi Mäkinen is a great person with amazing patience and strategic mind. His rally racing experience could be shared and passed on to a hundred people. In view of all this, it gives the impression that Tommi Mäkinen is not going outside the World Rally Championship. His ideas will still be in Toyota Gazoo Racing and will be through by Jari Matti Latvala. Thus, Latvala most likely became the successor of Mäkinen, but not the new team boss, as it seems, especially with a good relationship with Mr Mäkinen. 

One can be sure that this is a new chapter for Jari Matti Latvala in Toyota Gazoo Racing and wishes him success and luck in the World Rally Championship in such a complicated but amazing career way.