Ott Tänak admitted he was relieved to see the end of the Rallye Monte Carlo after an engine electronics issue meant he was slow through the final two completed stages on Sunday.
The Estonian and co-driver Martin Järveoja were on course to finish second and make it a M-Sport 1-2 behind Sebastien Ogier, but the issues that befell the duo meant they slipped behind Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala.
Such was the advantage over the rest of the field, Tänak managed to hold onto third and the final podium position, and the Ford Fiesta WRC driver heads away from Monte Carlo confident that a good season is on the cards.
“It’s great to be here!” admitted Tänak. “For a moment we didn’t know if we would make it, but the Ecoboost engine is clearly a very strong and at least we added a little spice to the final day.
“Of course it’s a shame to have had the issue, but this is Monte-Carlo. We know it’s a tricky event and we have to be pleased with our performance.
“I was quite surprised to see how competitive we were. Normally I don’t enjoy challenging conditions but I felt quite comfortable in the car. We were quietly confident during testing, but you never know until you get into competition so all credit to the guys at M-Sport.
“We’ve got a great base car in the Fiesta WRC and also quite a bit that we can still improve. We had consistent speed this weekend and I think we are only going to get better as we continue to learn throughout the season.
“I must also say thanks and congratulations to my co-driver, Martin. This was one of the trickiest Rallye Monte-Carlo’s that we have ever seen and he did a really great job. He did his job so that I could concentrate on mine and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the coming events.”