Makinen sends a warning to Gronholm

Tommi Makinen has warned fellow countryman Marcus Gronholm not to assume this year's World Rally Championship is a foregone conclusion

Makinen sends a warning to Gronholm

Gronholm only needs to place fifth, regardless of where title rival Richard Burns finishes, to take the crown in his first full season of WRC competition. But Makinen, who won the 1997 crown in similar circumstances on Rally GB when battling against Colin McRae, knows that it won't be easy.

"Marcus is not guaranteed the title," he told Autosport. "It's certainly much easier for him now after Australia, but Britain is such a difficult rally to finish, so I'm sure there's still a lot of pressure. For everybody, it's a question of going flat-out, making no mistakes and hoping there are no technical failures. That is the only way to win this rally."

Makinen, who is looking to end a dismal season with a win for Mitsubishi, recognises that British duo Burns and McRae are hard to beat on their home turf.

"To win this weekend you must go flat-out all the time against the local heroes Richard and Colin," he said. "They are very, very fast as always here. For me, there is no pressure here. It means I can go flat-out to try and win the rally this weekend. It will be difficult to beat Richard, but I will certainly try."

The four-times world champion has said his disqualification from victory in Rally Australia for a turbocharger infringement a fortnight ago has not affected him.

"What happened in Australia wasn't so upsetting for me because we weren't fighting for a championship. What was more important was the feeling of winning and being at the front. All the work we have done with our rear suspension has made a big, big difference."

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