It seems to me that ever since his big wreck at corsica when he put Risto out for good, he just doesn't have the drive to push really hard anymore. He was racing pretty good early this year, until he had "the big one" again at Argentina.
I think he's doing the smart thing. It's time for him to pass the torch rather than hanging on too long.
Makinen shoots down retirement talk
January 15, 2003
Four-times World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen has played down rumours that he intends to retire when his Subaru contract runs out at the end of 2003.
?It was already two years ago exactly the same situation after the Mitsubishi period. I was thinking the same. Nothing is 100 per cent decided and nothing has happened,? Makinen stated.
He is keen to continue while he feels he is competitive and is determined to bow out on a high note. Last year was a disappointment, yielding only one win ? although it was a record-breaking fourth consecutive success on the Monte Carlo Rally.
It's amazing to me how some bad luck can quickly wash away all the success and deem someone as washed up. x( Tommi and Carlos are problably the 2 drivers who have not been given the respect they deserved in 2002. The season simply shows they're human and can have some bad luck. Anybody remember all the bad luck Marcus had in '01?? Guess he wasn't washed up after all...
So many people are forgetting how many fastest stage times Tommi had at just about every event after Argentina. What about leading Safari handidly until suspension failure? He had another good outing in Cyprus, and many other good events before problems of one kind or another.
As competitive as the Subaru was (taking Peugeot out of the equation , it was about the most problematic car out there. Everyone seemed to empathize with Petter when he had problems, but Tommi had easily as many problems with the car, and probably more.
The guy is FAR from a has-been, and if Subaru can put a good car under him, he'll perform extremely well. His motivation is clear and simple - to win.
My suggestion is to go replay some videos of the last few seasons to get a reminder of how good he is... 2001 was a good season to watch, when had to flog the EVO to stay competitive with the WRCars. }>
Mark, don't get me wrong. I admire all that Tommi has done with the subaru this past year, but he was clearly outperformed by Petter. He just doesn't seem to have the fire he once had when he used take the EVO by the scruff of the neck and say "let's go". Watching videos of 1998-2001 you can really see just how aggressive he was. My comments were merely commending him for going out on top of his game rather than hanging around and becomming an also ran. Carlos is still the same as he's always been, consistant, and good for about 1 - 2 wins a year.
My prediction for next year, Petter and Marcus in a close battle for the title.