Tommi Makinen – Wins: 24 World titles: 4
From 1996 until 1999 there was no stopping Tommi Makinen as he steamrollered his way to four world titles on the trot in an array of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions. Like Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, the UK-based Ralliart team that developed and prepared his cars was built around the Finn with the same single-minded pursuit of all-out dominance.
His rather digital approach at the controls was at odds with virtuoso flair of McRae, but the scintillating speed was undeniable. Of course Tommi was quick in Finland, winning his home event four times, but unlike many of his countrymen he was also fast on Tarmac, taking four Monte Carlo wins as well as victories on the mixed surface Sanremo.
Like Loeb, however, Makinen’s claim to all-time greatness is hampered by the fact that so much of his success came with one manufacturer, with 22 of his 24 wins secured in Mitsubishis. That said, with rivals that included McRae, Sainz, Burns, Auriol and Kankkunen, none of those victories came easy.