Lappi will share Toyota’s third car with eight-time champion Sébastien Ogier in 2022 and drove the all-new hybrid machine for the first time last month.
The Finn immediately understood the differences between the Yaris World Rally Car, with which he took a sensational fourth place at the Secto Automotive Rally Finland in early October.
“It felt different after Finland,” he said. “The transmission is similar to the R5 (Rally2) car and maybe the driving style should go more in that direction. There is of course the extra weight, but also the extra power. It’s a rally car, so no problem.
“We drove a car with a lot of different things, a lot of different parts. It was more of a development test, shall we say. It was very good to be here again. “
In addition to the use of hybrid drive on certain sections of the link in the next year, drivers can use the 100 kW units to achieve a temporary increase in performance during the special stages. Lappi admitted that timing the boost would not be easy.
“Use [the hybrid power] won’t be easy, ”he explained. “On the test track you understand better where you use it and how you need it, but for the stages you have to prepare for the stages more than ever.
“You have to choose the strategy for the stage and that makes things more difficult in many ways,” he added.
Lappi will not start the season opener at the Monte-Carlo Rally next month (January 20-23). His program has yet to be determined by the team but it is almost certain that he will be in Sweden in the second round.
“This is probably the next test for me,” he said. “I think I’ll be racing on our own test track in Finland and then the pre-event [test] in Sweden.
“I’m not sure what the program will be yet, but I’ll do my job next year helping the team win the Manufacturers’ title again and that’s it.”