Sebastien Ogier was over the moon after taking his fourth consecutive Rallye Monte Carlo victory on his maiden outing with M-Sport following Volkswagen’s decision to withdraw from the World Rally Championship at the end of 2016.
The Frenchman and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were able to take their Ford Fiesta WRC machine to the head of the field on Saturday following Thierry Neuville’s mistake that saw the Hyundai driver drop down the field, and was competitive enough in all three stages on Sunday (Super Stage sixteen was cancelled) to come home with a two minute and fifteen second advantage over Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala.
Ogier admitted that it was difficult to come into the event with very little preparation in the Fiesta after only joining M-Sport last month, but was delighted to take the team’s first WRC victory since 2012.
“Obviously I feel really great,” said Ogier. “It always feels good to win at Rallye Monte-Carlo, but this year we had one of the most difficult challenges we have ever had. We had to contend with some really demanding conditions and also had a new car and a new team – it’s really incredible.
“We joined the team only a month ago and have only had a couple of days in the car so far. Of course we know that anything can happen at this event, but I really thought that we would be lacking the necessary preparation to challenge for victory this weekend.
“To be here now, on the top-step of the podium, I’m very happy and so happy for the whole team who really deserve this. We could never have won if they had not given us a good car, so congratulations to them.
“We still have some work to do, but we have started in the best possible way. I’m looking forward to the next events and there is nothing that does not allow me to be confident.”