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Wed 18 Jan 2023

WRC stars debrief after Monte-Carlo recce

With the recce for the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (19 - 22 January) complete, the world’s best rally drivers have delivered their verdict on the conditions for round one.

The third day of reconnaissance took the crews down Sunday’s roads, those closest to the service park in Monaco. With some snow and ice in places, the drivers admitted it was all eyes on the weather through Wednesday night.

Defending champion Kalle Rovanperä said: “We’ve had quite a good recce, its seems we will have some mixed conditions – I’m sure it will be different from the recce to the rally. The ice note crews will be vital, we have to understand that information.

“This is always a big challenge and it’s not a rally where I have always felt most comfortable, it’s not the easiest event. But it’s a big challenge and it’s a special place to start the season.”

One man who has always looked and felt at home in the mountains is eight-time winner Sébastien Ogier.

The Frenchman said: “We’ve had some winter conditions, but they’re changing very quickly and it’s hard to predict what’s coming. I don’t think we will have so much snow coming now, but that doesn’t make it easier. I’m sure there will be some ice, I’m sure it will be a typical Monte.

“It’s not easy to win this one. I will do my best and if we can get some more luck then hopefully I can stay out of trouble and fight for the win.”

Hyundai driver and former Monte winner Thierry Neuville added: “The roads and conditions are similar to last year and the recce has been reasonably straightforward. Not so many surprises so far, but I’m sure we will have some different conditions in the rally.”

  • Full coverage from Rallye Monte-Carlo will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.