As Toyota struggles to find drivers for its WRC return in 2017 with the Yaris, the team’s principal wants to employ two former world champions .
The boss of Toyota Gazoo Racing, Tommi Makinen revealed, that both Citroen driver Kris Meeke and Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier have declined offers to join Toyota, prompting him to look beyond the current flock of drivers.
During an interview with Autosport, Makinen confirmed that he met with Petter Solberg in Finland to see if the 2003 WRC champion would return to the sport.
“We discussed different plans with Petter”, Makinen said. “We know he is a world champion and a fast driver. He is running his rallycross team and doing the championship again, but maybe something is possible.”
Solberg himself revealed his intrigue at the prospect of a return: “Maybe there is still some unfinished business in the WRC. It’s interesting to talk to Tommi and to hear about the big plans Toyota has.”
While Makinen said he hadn’t yet started talks with WRC all-time recordman Sebastien Loeb, he did reveal his interest in signing the nine-time world champion.
“I haven’t seen or spoken with Sebastien yet. If Sebastien would be interested to do something then of course I want to talk to him. We know he is one of the best drivers ever and still doing very well and continuing to drive.”