Tommi Mäkinen WRC Monte-Carlo Rally 2020 Exclusive Interview
PetWorldGlobal and sportanddogs.com are very happy to meet again in Fairmont Monte Carlo with Tommi Mäkinen.
Tommi Mäkinen himself is a legend of WRC and 4 time World Champion. First team principal and a first person in the history of WRC who became World Champion as a driver and also won WRC Champion title as a team principal. In both category as a Team Champion title and individual driver Championship title by Ott Tänak last year.
But for first PetWorldGlobal and Sport and Dogs are interested. Do you have a dog?
Do you have a dog?
Dog yes, basically I have quite a few, my son has a small, then we have one black dog about the same size as your dog (White Swiss Shepherd) from Lapland, looking after the reindeers. Then I also have a hunting dog for elk hunting. My grandfather launched a hunting club in Finland which is now around 80 years old. And I’m often going elk hunting.
And it is not easy with your lifestyle?
Yes, that’s true, we are traveling so much all over the world but it’s very relaxing when you have time to stop and go home and go to the forest with our dogs.
Can I say that your dogs make you happy?
Yes, sure. It is good when you have different kind of activities with dogs. It’s a very very important part of my life.
Coming back to the championship
Coming back to the championship, for my point of view, you made something amazing again. The first you made Tänak and Järveoja to the World Champions.They never would’ve come the champion this fast without your help and Toyota team. When I look back at the end of last season. It looked like it wasn’t an easy situation when Tänak left the Toyota. But now you completed an amazing team again. Ogier, everybody knows what he have done before in WRC. And Evans, he looks like he is ready to win.
Rovanperä, what to expect and wait from the young Kalle Rovanperä?
He is really on his way to the top. He has very little experience of course. It’s his first rally here in the rally cup. He was pretty much learning, he is very hungry to learn to listen to other drivers.
I would say at the moment we have a good team because they are communicating together and with the team and everybody is very motivated.
Discussing and communicating is very helpful in learning and understanding what rally is. I would say that Sébastien Ogier is more like a “father” for Kalle Rovanperä, supporting him.
Let’s see, we just keep continuing and keep going. We try to listen to our team point of view and give our maximum support to everybody and keep them motivated.
After this result, of course, there was some disappointment, we wanted to win the rally here but Monte Carlo is still waiting for us. We need to be here next year again and we don’t worry if we can not win today, I’m sure we will win Monte Carlo Rally also one year anyway.
Long season to go and example for Kalle to get learn and experiences… I would say rally is best here about it. This is where you can get the lot of experience for young driver as Kalle is. His experience is based very much on Finnish condition, snowy condition. He has always been very fast there and I’m pretty sure the future for him is much easy.
Which year will Kalle be ready to win a Championship?
It’s sure he need more experience, I would say it’s going step by step. I would say at least two years. He needs to learn, he can be fast here and there but to be constant to win a title I think minimum two years. But he is still young. He is only 19 years old
And now after rally, as team principal can you say you are happy ?
Yes, sure, of course. very very happy, we had 4 cars in race all of them finished luckily on the 2nd (Sébastien Ogier), 3rd (Elfyn Evans), 5th (Kalle Rovanperä) and 7th (Takamoto Katsuta). No dramas at all with any of them.
They did not make big mistakes and we just could do something little bit more to win. We were very confident yesterday that we are winning. But Thierry, he knew that he is going to be very fast with this condition today.
We try our best but it’s tricky with little bit slippy roads. I would say that because Thierry has been in the same team 7 years already and the experience gives him advantage in this situation. He knows everything. Other drivers, who are racing the first time with new cars, it takes always a bit more time. I would say about half a year continuously drive to understand the car.
We saw what happened by accident with Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja
It is similar situation, new car. I remember when we started in 2018, he was learning and learning and 2018 in Neste Rally Finland he was ready to win and from there he realized how to drive. He was constantly very very fast and it took him about 6 months to learn the new car.
That’s the rally, different things happen but we keep going, keep continuing race for win.
We thank you for your time and we very admire the work you’ve done as a driver and the work you’ve done building Toyota team.
We wish you luck!