Although Tommi Makinen's co-driver, Risto Mannisenmaki, continues to make a good recovery following his accident in Corsica last year, Subaru, in conjunction with Makinen's management, have decided that he will not resume his driving partnership until the beginning of the 2003 season.

"Our decision not to put Risto back in the car is based entirely on our real concern for his well being." The team's Sporting Director, George Donaldson commented. "At every stage of his recovery we sought advice from the best doctors and neurosurgeons and their latest recommendation is that, in his current condition, he should not get back in a rally car.

"I know it's a blow for Risto, who's eager to get back in the co-driver's seat, but it really is the only responsible decision to take. Kaj Lindstrom will carry on driving with Tommi for the rest of this year, and together with the various medical experts we'll continue to assess Risto's condition before any longer-term decisions are made."

Despite the setback of losing his regular co-driver, Makinen appears to have built an increasingly fruitful relationship with fellow Finn Lindstrom, whom he first partnered at last years Rally of Great Britain, while Mannisenmaki has yet to sit in a Subaru seat during competition.

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