Lappi not ready for title bid – Latvala

Group Rallying Editor
@davidevansrally

Esapekka Lappi will not be ready to fight for the 2018 World Rally Championship title despite his Rally Finland win, says his Toyota team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

Lappi’s shock Finland victory came in just his fourth WRC start.

But Latvala, who is Toyota’s title hope in the first season of its new Tommi Makinen-run WRC programme this year, said Lappi’s inexperience will still be a stumbling block next season.

“For the championship he needs a little bit more experience,” said Latvala.

“There are still rallies where he has not been, like Mexico, and when you want to fight for the title you need to have done all of the rallies.”

Lappi began 2017 on testing duties for Toyota as it ran only Latvala and Juho Hanninen until it had a third car ready from the Rally of Portugal in May.

Prior to moving up to the top class this season, Lappi spent two years in WRC2 – winning last season’s title – but had competed in the Finnish and European championships before then so has limited experience of the WRC calendar.

He agreed with Latvala’s assessment and played down expectations for the next WRC round in Germany.

“It’s true what Jari-Matti said,” Lappi admitted.

“As we saw, I have good experience from Rally Finland – that was my sixth time competing there.

“But next week in Germany, that’s not in my comfort zone.

“Argentina and Mexico I have never done and you need to be [competitive] in every rally for the title.

“It’s a big challenge if I even want to talk about the championship.

“The priority for me is to get the experience from the rallies and to make the results consistent and then at a higher level.”

Lappi and Latvala are both confirmed for Toyota next season, but Hanninen is expected to be dropped.

Recent news

Column

Does simulator training actually help?

By Rob Ladbrook

Rallying News

Tanak: I'm fighting Ogier/Neuville for title

Ott Tanak says his Rally Germany win has played him into the thick of the fight for this y

Racing News

National racing stars of the weekend: August 19-20

Our team of reporters pick their star performers from last weekend's national race meeting

Rallying News

Tanak wins Rally Germany, Ogier opens lead

Ott Tanak clinched victory in Germany as his M-Sport Ford team-mate Sebastien Ogier rebuil

Rallying News

Cronin takes Ulster victory, disaster for Pryce

Keith Cronin scored a second victory out of two on asphalt in this season’s British Rall

Rallying News

Tanak protects lead over closing Mikkelsen

Ott Tanak protected his lead over Andreas Mikkelsen on the first loop of Rally Germany's f

Rallying News

Tanak extends Rally Germany advantage

Ott Tanak extended his Rally Germany lead over Andreas Mikkelsen to 23 seconds during Satu

Column

What's wrong with some WRC rumours?

By David Evans

Rallying News

Neuville retires from Rally Germany

Joint World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville has retired from Rally Germany on S

Rallying News

Tanak retakes Rally Germany lead

Ott Tanak reclaimed the Rally Germany lead from Andreas Mikkelsen on Friday afternoon, whi

Rallying News

Cronin takes early Ulster lead

M-Sport’s Keith Cronin leads the Ulster Rally after day one of the event, although his l

Rallying News

Mikkelsen leads Rally Germany for Citroen

Andreas Mikkelsen leads Rally Germany for Citroen on just his third appearance with the te

Racing News

BTCC teams keen to join new TCR UK Series

A host of British Touring Car Championship teams are planning programmes in the forthcomin

Rallying News

BRC prize winner to join Ogier's test team

M-Sport is offering a British Rally Championship driver the chance to work with Sebastien

Rallying News

Dropped BRC rounds hit out at calendar shuffle

Organisers of both the RSAC Scottish Rally and Nicky Grist Stages have been left "disappoi

Racing News

Motorsport returns to Crystal Palace

Competitive motorsport will make its annual return to Crystal Palace on the August bank ho

Rallying News

Neuville promises not to hamper Ogier

World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville insists he will not compromise his own Ra

Rallying News

Gronholm: Loeb WRC return would be a surprise

One of Sebastien Loeb’s biggest ever World Rally Championship rivals, Marcus Gronholm, h

Racing News

National racing Stars of the Weekend: Aug 12/13

Our team of reporters pick their star performers from last weekend's national race meeting

Rallying News

Neuville ready for head to head with Ogier

Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier are set to go head-to-head for the World Rally Champi

Racing News

Priaulx among five JHR Ginetta drivers to secure team switch

Five of the eight JHR Developments Ginetta drivers, including Ginetta Junior points leader

Rallying News

BRC to run with Wales Rally GB in 2018

British Rally Championship competitors will get to test themselves against the stars of th

1 2 3 21

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

X