Francois Delecour admits he can't wait to make his return to the World Rally Championship on the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally this week.

The French driver, who won the event all the way back in 1994, will drive a Ford Fiesta RS WRC entered by M-Sport in the opening round of the 2012 season having also taken part in the rally last year.

Driving a Peugeot 207 S2000, Delecour finished fifth last year when the event was part of the IRC schedule and the 49-year-old admitted he couldn't wait to return to the WRC for he first time in nearly ten years.

"I am so excited to be back behind the wheel of a WRC car," he said. "It's been ten years since I last drove one. I have to say that the car is feeling fantastic. We did some testing with the Fiesta earlier in the week and it's a real joy to drive.

"Monte has to be one of the most difficult rallies on the calendar. You never know where the grip is and stages can differ hugely from one to another. As a driver you have to be clever and consider everything; you have to be on the limit, but you can't go flat. Maybe you will have the wrong tyre choice for one stage, but it will be perfect for another. That's the great thing about Monte and to win here is very special!

"I cannot wait for the competition to start. There's a great spirit here and so many spectators on the stages - even during practice. It's unbelievable."