Tommi MÃ¤kinen - I've no time to celebrate Tommi MÃ¤kinen says he has no time to enjoy his status as the most successful World Rally driver ever, despite being confirmed as the winner of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally. MÃ¤kinen inherited...
Tommi Mäkinen - I've no time to celebrate
Tommi Mäkinen says he has no time to enjoy his status as the most successful World Rally driver ever, despite being confirmed as the winner of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
Mäkinen inherited the victory following the news that Citroen has withdrawn its appeal against a penalty given to Sebastien Loeb on the second day of the event. That takes Mäkinen's WRC win-tally to 24 - one more than rivals Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz and Juha Kankkunen. The four-time world champ has also now racked up four consecutive Monte wins, but those records have yet to sink in as he concentrates on preparing for the next event, Rally Sweden.
"I don't really know what to say," said Mäkinen. "It's obviously fantastic news and a great honour to have reached this position as a driver. It's just a pity I have no time to celebrate it just for the minute as we are in the middle of our Sweden test. So for now, it's good news but business as usual."
However, Mäkinen conceded that with the Monte Carlo dispute now settled and the fact he has broken the record for WRC wins, the pressure won't be on him in Sweden.
"Maybe things will be a little better for me on the rally as there is no pressure for me to break the record," he explained. "I've done it now and all of that pressure has been passed to the other drivers who must try to catch up."
Mäkinen's boss at Subaru, David Lapworth, said he was disappointed that his driver didn't take the podium on the season-opening rally, but he too said his team is concentrating on the next event.
"To start the year with a win is a fantastic achievement for Tommi and for Subaru," said Lapworth. "Naturally, it's disappointing that we weren't able to commemorate Tommi's new status on the podium in Monte Carlo. But we can draw a line under it and concentrate on the task ahead in Sweden."