Lappi feeling pretty confident about 2023 WRC seat

Esapekka Lappi has confirmed negotiations to remain with Toyota in the World Rally Championship are underway and is feeling “pretty” confident about his 2023 plans.

Lappi feeling pretty confident about 2023 WRC seat

The Finn returned to rallying’s top tier this season after securing a part-time drive with Toyota, sharing the third GR Yaris entry with eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Lappi’s return to Toyota, where he began his WRC career in 2017, was made possible by an opening in the driver line-up being created following Ogier’s decision to scale back his rally commitments to spend more time with family, and to explore opportunities in sportscar racing.

As a result, Lappi contested seven rallies where he challenged for victories and scored three podium finishes to help Toyota’s bid to retain the manufacturers’ crown.

Lappi’s 2022 programme has now come to an end, following the Acropolis Rally earlier this month, with Ogier officially confirmed this week as the driver of the third car for the remaining events in New Zealand, Spain and Japan.

While his future at the team is yet to be resolved for next year, Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala is keen to retain the squad’s four car driver line-up of Kalle Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans, Lappi/Ogier and Takamoto Katsuta for 2023.

Speaking to media including Autosport about his 2022 campaign, Lappi confirmed that talks to secure a new deal are underway, and although nothing is confirmed, the 31-year-old is feeling optimistic.

“We have already started slightly to negotiate about it, so I’m feeling positive definitely,” said Lappi.

“For sure, if I feel positive about it and I want to stay in the team and then if Jari-Matti is saying he wants me in the team I think that is a good combination. So I’m feeling pretty confident we can stay.

“But about the programme? I don’t know at all, so let’s wait and see.”

“We have already started slightly to negotiate about it, so I’m feeling positive definitely,” Lappi.

“We have already started slightly to negotiate about it, so I’m feeling positive definitely,” Lappi.

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Regarding a possible 2023 programme, Lappi says he is open minded but can see the benefits of contesting a part-time campaign.

Read Also:

“There is two sides. The other side is the family that definitely likes it this way, and I like it as well, it a good balance between family and the professional life,” he added.

“On the other hand I could see and felt that when I did back-to-back races or the last four in a row, it influenced me that I can be a bit better and sharper. In terms of that it would be nice to have more events.

“Now it is going to be a long break if I can continue next year, that is not good but like I said there is two sides.”

Should a continuation of his 2022 arrangement with Toyota come to fruition, it is likely Lappi won’t be back behind the wheel competitively until Rally Sweden in February next year.

shares
comments

Related video

M-Sport withdraws Fourmaux entry from Rally New Zealand
Previous article

M-Sport withdraws Fourmaux entry from Rally New Zealand

Next article

Friday favourite: A misunderstood WRC rivalry which forged a friendship

Friday favourite: A misunderstood WRC rivalry which forged a friendship
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022