Scot Alister McRae has revealed that he is 'shocked' following Mitsubishi's decision to take a year out from the World Rally Championship in 2003.

Mitsubishi announced on Monday that they would not take part in the 2003 FIA WRC following a "decision to restructure it's motor sports engineering activities over the next 12 months."

Although the team will return in 2004, a year is a long time and anything could happen. 2003 will thus be devoted to testing, evaluation and although the team will take part in "selected rallies" it remains to be seen how many and which ones this will include.

Alister, speaking to BBC Sport Online commented: "I am shocked. It's not the sort of thing you expect to be told when you're getting ready to start testing for next season.

"I'm heading back to the UK this weekend when I am expecting to start testing for Monte Carlo [the first round of the 2003 WRC]. I guess there's a chance that might happen."

Alister joined Mitsubishi from Hyundai at the start of this year, the deal which was announced in October 2001, was for two years only and it remains to be seen if the Brit will continue driving for outfit, if they do return in 2004.

His team-mate, Francois Delecour also joined the team in 2001 and like McRae is equally upset that he won't be driving full-time next year.

"For the sake of the team, it was a wise move," said Delecour. "In their place, I would probably have done the same thing. However, from a driver's point of view it's horrific. It's better to be competing on rallies in a bad car than not competing at all."