This week sees the first WRC race for the new Hyundai Motorsport outfit, which has drafted in an impressive line up of Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo to spearhead their maiden season in the competition.
Dani Sordo is an old hand at the event, with 2014 marking his seventh participation in the Monte-Carlo season opener. Despite the race being widely regarded as one of the trickiest and toughest rounds on the WRC calendar, Sordo said he was confident and looking forward to getting underway.
"This is an event where I feel really comfortable and I have a very good experience on these roads although it's such an unpredictable rally," he said. "Anything can happen depending on the weather conditions you find along the way.
"We want to finish this rally and give the team as much feedback as possible to continue the development work," he added. Sordo will be joined in the #8 Hyundai i20 WRC by co-driver and fellow Spaniard Marc Marti.
The two have already been hard at work getting comfortable with the new car with a test in the French Alps, while the Hyundai team as a whole has logged a total of 8000km over the course of 16 test sessions around Europe in the last six months.
"Even though we joined the team officially only one month ago, we already have a good feeling," said Sordo. "We did a few days of testing with the Hyundai i20 WRC in December and one additional day this week.
"The aim of the pre-event test was to get to know the car as much as possible in first instance but at the same time we had to find the best set-up for the event," he explained. "The first impression is positive although we all know there's still a lot of work to do."
While Sordo says he is "comfortable" in Monte-Carlo, his new team mate Thierry Neuville - with four outings under his belt in the event - confessed to being considerably more apprehensive and wary about what lies in wait for him and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul in the week ahead.
"I can't say that Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the events I like the most," he admitted. "It is so difficult to find a good rhythm and it can be very easy to lose time with the wrong tyre choice.