Toyota rules out team orders to help Tanak

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Toyota rules out team orders to help Tanak
By: David Evans
May 2, 2018, 3:16 PM

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has ruled out team orders in his squad, despite Ott Tanak moving further ahead of his teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi last time out in Rally Argentina.

Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Podium: winners Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Gazoo Racing, second place Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai Motorsport, third place Dani Sordo, Carlos del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport

Tanak remains third in the championship race, having closed the gap on Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier to 18 and 28 points respectively – but he is 32 and 41 ahead of Lappi and Latvala.

Despite that position, Makinen is not keen on dictating finishing positions, particularly with Rally Finland coming up.

Makinen told Motorsport.com: "Personally, my feeling is to let the drivers do their own rallies. It's important to bring two of the cars home in the best possible position for the championship, but it's too early to be thinking about [team orders].

"I would like to keep the drivers doing their own thing. And can you imagine in Finland, if I talked to them [about team orders]? It would make them very worried if I was telling them to slow down in Finland!"

Tanak agreed with that policy, saying: "I fight for myself. We are still so early in the championship, it's not about that.

"We are very open in the team, everybody can have what they want in the team, for me there is no first, second or third driver. We will focus on our job and Jari-Matti must focus on his job."

Talking of Latvala, Makinen urged his countryman to put his latest retirement out of his mind.

Makinen said: "We can forget it quickly, but we try to support Jari-Matti to make sure that he forgets it quickly as well.

"We need him to go forward to the next rally. It was a big, big disappointment, but for him personally it wasn't so big [disappointment] as Australia – he dealt with this better."

Makinen also ruled out the potential for Nasser Al Attiyah driving fourth Yaris WRC on selected events.

He said: "We can't guarantee it's going to happen, so it's better to say no. It's not our target to be running a private fourth car, it can be done and if it's something positive then it could be done, but it's not our priority right now."

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About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Ott Tanak
Teams Toyota Racing
Author David Evans
Article type Breaking news