That’s the view of Volkswagen’s team principal Jost Capito (left), who reckons the squad will provide the sometimes wayward ace with a fresh start and a brand new mental approach - which is the only thing needed for the Finn to match his obvious speed with everyday consistency.
“Jari-Matti is a confidence driver, but we’re here to provide him with that confidence, and that is my job too,” Capito explained. “I’ve known Jari-Matti for a long time and we’ve talked a lot; also about the issues that have affected his confidence in the past. And I honestly don’t believe that they will happen again here. It’s not something I’m even slightly worried about. This is a chance for him to turn the page.”
Latvala’s career at Ford was characterised by big highs and lows - and there were occasions when the Finn admits that he even contemplated walking away from the sport entirely. He then became locked into a difficult mental pattern, where he was almost expecting something to go wrong at some point on a rally. That, in turn, led to mistakes being made. The move to Volkswagen, according to Capito, is a chance for Latvala to break that cycle.
“It’s a completely new beginning and we’re growing together,” said Capito. “I think that’s important to Jari-Matti and I know that we’re going to have a very good feeling in the team.”
Despite his ups and downs, Latvala (pictured right) still managed to finish third in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship on the back of wins in Sweden and Great Britain with the factory Ford team.