4 – Jari-Matti Latvala
After a rocky 2009, Jari-Matti Latvala made amends this year and re-paid the faith Ford boss Malcolm Wilson had shown in him. It's for that reason he makes our top-ten, coming in at number four.
Latvala really came of age and did well to secure the vice-champions spot on the season ending Wales Rally GB.
It was the icing on the cake for the Finn, who took two incredible wins in New Zealand and Finland, and who also managed podiums in Sweden, Jordan, Japan and GB. He had odd moments – a roll in Turkey and another DNF in Portugal, but those were the exception.
Furthermore while he was the 'number two' driver at the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, he shaded team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen more often than not. Indeed he finished up with 171 points in total – 45 more than his compatriot.
Jari-Matti clearly came on leaps and bounds in 2010 and the Crash.net
columnist now has the belief back.
“I'm looking forward to 2011 already,” he said in his latest blog post-Rally GB. “I really want to try and fight for the championship next year and work hard to make sure Ford gets the manufacturers' title again.
“It won't be easy to become champion and you need a bit of luck and everything needs to come together. But I think, at least, I am now ready myself to start fighting for it.”
Statistics – Jari-Matti Latvala:
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Ford Focus RS WRC
13 (out of 13)
4 (excludes victories)
1st (New Zealand and Finland)
Crash.net's Top 10 World Rally drivers' of 2010:
4. Jari-Matti Latvala
5. Dani Sordo
6. Mikko Hirvonen
7. Juho Hanninen (Wild Card)
8. Kimi Raikkonen
9. Armindo Araujo (Wild Card)
10. Xavier Pons (Wild Card)
Honourable mention: Aaron Burkart (for winning the J-WRC – just!)
What do you think of Crash.net's
Top 10 World Rally drivers' for 2010? Why not post a comment now and give us your thoughts.
Also look out for our poll coming soon where you can vote on who you think was the best in 2010...