M-Sport returnee Mikko Hirvonen was forced out of Rallye Monte Carlo in the final stage on Saturday with an electrical issue costing him sixth place.

Hirvonen, who rejoined the team over the winter after two years with Citroen, had been hoping to challenge for a podium on the 2014 WRC season opener, but throughout he struggled to match the front runners. It was a disappointing showing and while his pace did improve as the event went on, he will now be hoping for much better in Sweden next month.

"It's been a frustrating weekend. We struggled to get back to grips with the Fiesta RS WRC in the early stages, but the pace was coming so it is a real shame that it had to end the way that it did," said the Finn.

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"Now, I just need to focus on the next event. Sweden is a rally that I enjoy, so hopefully we'll be able turn it around and really show our potential."

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile is also hoping his number one driver will be closer to the front next time out.

"Obviously it was a huge disappointment to lose Mikko with an electrical problem on the final stage. He and the team tried hard to get the car back home, but unfortunately it was not to be," Wilson added.

"On the positive side, he managed to get a lot of mileage in what were far from easy circumstances.

"Hopefully he will be to put this weekend behind him and prove his true pace at Rally Sweden next month," Wilson concluded.