Toyota: Meeke, Latvala "forgot" their instructions for Finland
Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has criticised Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala for ‘forgetting the plan’ for this week’s Rally Finland.
The Finn’s car suffered bodywork and aerodynamic damage, but he was still able to go fastest on the following Leustu stage. He now sits second, 13.8s behind championship-leading teammate Ott Tanak.
Makinen told Motorsport.com: “I think both Kris and Jari-Matti forget what was the target for this rally.
“We had a good meeting before the rally, we discussed things and we said: 'Do not try to follow Ott. Do your own driving and concentrate on your own driving.'
“But when they pull on the helmet and they get into the big fight, they forget everything. It was only a question of what happened, both of them they were thinking 'Ott is going that fast'… and they forget about their own driving.
“Somehow their concentration has been disturbed. As long as you keep concentration and focus on where you are going everything is working – do this and you are far faster and without the risk.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the first time this year. What can we do? How to tell them, again and again and again, and trust that they remember that.”
Latvala accepted the blame for his puncture.
“It was in a ditch on the outside of the right corner,” said Latvala. “It was the size of a head, a big rock.
“Last year in this corner, the organisers had put the concrete to stop us cutting, but this year it was gone so I went faster through the corner and slid wide on the exit. It was my mistake, but you know EP [Esapekka Lappi] is still close, so I have to push a little.”
Toyota sporting director Kaj Lindstrom told Motorsport.com Meeke’s incident happened in a fifth-gear corner, with the Northern Irishman’s Yaris sliding just out of the line and clipping a rock with the left-rear.
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