Hiring Jari-Matti Latvala, 35, as the boss of the Toyota rally stable surprised almost everyone.
The 1985 world champion Timo Salonen received the news of Latvala's new pest almost in disbelief.
- Yes, I was wondering, but everything seems to be happening in the world, Salonen tells Ilta-Sanomat.
- But what's in it.
After all, he can be a good man for that job.
At least there should be enough experience in rallies.
But yes, his choice came as a big surprise, Salonen continues.
Hiring Latvala for Toyota is a testament to the fact that the Japanese management of a big carmaker sees things differently than perhaps many others.
In his career, Salonen raced with many different Japanese brands.
He gassed Datsun-Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi with drives.
However, the racing stables of these manufacturers were mainly run by Europeans.
- After all, I went to Japan for stables and the Japanese were at work in rallies.
They really have a slightly different way of thinking about racing than Europeans, Salonen chews on his own experiences.
Timo Salonen (left) and Hannu Mikkola were once teammates in Mazda.
Latvala is supported in the sports management of the Toyota team by experienced rally boars, sports director Kaj Lindström and Jarmo Lehtinen working under him.
Salonen, 69, estimates that Latvala does not have a exactly the same job description as his predecessor Tommi Mäkinen was the manager of the Toyota rally stable.
Salonen also doubts that Latvala's job description is not quite similar to what team managers have traditionally had in the World Series.
- Latvala has the title of team manager, but in practice his work may involve a little more such public relations work.
- But over time, we'll see how things start to slip.
What's in it, good luck with the trip, Salonen inches.