"It's definitely going to be tougher," said the 24-year-old, who will be driving a Skoda Fabia S2000. "The competition is strong and we need to learn a new car. But of course we're targeting outright victory. On this event we'll be keeping a close eye on Craig Breen, as he won in Monte Carlo and he's already got some points on the board. But I'm sure that P-G Andersson is going to be fast in the Proton too."
Paddon will also compete in Portugal, New Zealand, Finland, Great Britain, France and Spain - and he says that he is fully fit after the post-season accident that broke his shoulder last year.
"I'm as good as new again," said Paddon. "The only thing about the accident is that it forced me to miss a month of training, but from the driving side it makes no different. I think I can grow a lot as a driver this year: having Sebastien Ogier in a similar car to me will be a fantastic benchmark. I'd like to think that I can get close to him on a few occasions, but I'll need to push hard in order to do that."
Paddon tested his new Skoda for 100 kilometres before the rally start.