Four-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier has started off the new season by winning the Monte Carlo Rally for a fourth time.

The 32-year-old Frenchman got his M-Sport Ford career off to a perfect start although he did benefit greatly from luck.

He avoided drama despite going off the road on a handful of occasions while rivals like Thierry Neuville, who led for the first three days in his Hyundai, weren't so fortunate.

"I was hoping to win but to take it from the first rally, after only one month together and with so little preparation, feels really amazing," he said.


"The conditions didn't make our life easy this weekend, starting first in the snow on day one and finishing with more and more snow."

Toyota celebrated their return to the WRC with a runner-up finish courtesy of Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished over two minutes behind Ogier and moved up to second after the Ford of Ott Tanak suffered problems on the final day.

Tanak held on for third.

Dani Sordo was fourth in the only Hyundai to score points, Craig Breen fifth in an older-model Citroen and Elfyn Evans sixth in the DMACK Ford.

Neuville managed to win the power stage on the final day and bank five points as a result. Citroen's Stephane Lefebvre was second, Juho Hanninen (Toyota) third, Evans fourth and Sordo fifth.

The next rally is in Sweden on February 9-12.

1. Sebastien Ogier (Ford)
2. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) +2:15.0s
3. Ott Tanak (Ford) +2:57.8s
4. Dani Sordo (Hyundai) +3:35.8s
5. Craig Breen (Citroen) +3:47.8s
6. Elfyn Evans (Ford) +6:45.0s

1. Sebastien Ogier 25
2. Jari-Matti Latvala 18
3. Ott Tanak 15
4. Dani Sordo 13
5. Craig Breen 10
6. Elfyn Evans 10
7. Andreas Mikkelsen 7
8. Thierry Neuville 5