The giant news came from the rally world on Friday, when the WRC team Toyota announced that it had appointed Jari-Matti Latvala as the new team manager.
Read more: Jari-Matti Latvala had a huge wash - will become Toyota's new team manager!
Latvala will follow the second Finnish rally size Tommi Mäkki, who managed to lead the Japanese stable from 2017.
Mäkinen tells IS that he has already talked to his successor.
- A few words were exchanged and I wished Jari-Mat the cheers.
Yes, we will certainly continue to exchange ideas - nothing in that, says the four-time world champion.
Mäkinen, who is moving to develop Toyota's motorsport operations, denies that he contributed to the selection of his compatriot.
- These decisions were made entirely in Japan and I have not been asked anything.
Sure, it was a little surprising when I first heard about it.
Now they start the run-in phase and watch how things start to roll.
- Just there, Jari-Matilla will certainly have enough enthusiasm, 56-year-old Mäkinen framed.
Mäkinen and Latvala already know each other well.
The roads have also met in professional signs when Latvala was Toyota's factory driver in 2017-19.
Latvala, who drove his last World Rally Championship in late 2019, will step into the big boots, as Toyota won one of the manufacturers 'and two drivers' world championships under Mäkinen's leadership.
The master of Jyväskylä believes that his former protector will perform a demanding task with honor, even though there is enough to learn and get used to.
- Yes, Jari-Mat must get to know that thing carefully.
He’s now watched the action mainly from the other side of the windshield, so that’s the difference.
But I think he can handle the duties of a team manager very well.
Tommi Mäkinen left behind a prosperous and successful rally stable. Photo: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva
- There's a skilled team behind it, and decision-making doesn't fall on anyone's shoulders alone.
I think Jari-Matti and this pattern has been analyzed in Japan quite accurately.
Mäkinen's future role in the bread of the Japanese brand has not yet been clarified.
The coronavirus has blocked his trip to the east, and the representatives of the car brand have not been able to weave plots in Finland either.
The situation may change if the opening of the World Rally Championship season is held in Finland.
According to strong rumors, the Arctic Lapland Rally in the Rovaniemi region is a candidate to replace the Swedish World Rally Championship.
- It would be great!
exclaims the ex-team manager preparing for a peaceful family Christmas.