Ott Tanak has said he is still getting to grips with the new M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC car ahead of the World Rally Championship season-opener in Monte Carlo.

The Estonian has replaced the retired Mikko Hirvonen at M-Sport, in a return to the team he raced for in 2012, collecting his career-best third place finish on the Rally d'Italia, but has only started three WRC events in the past two years.

After spending a intermittent period away from the top level of rallying, Tanak has said he is still getting used to the car.

Related Articles

"The hardest part is finding that sweet spot - that special place between being close to the limit without going over it," he said. "That will take some time, but if we start smoothly and work up to it I'm sure we can have a good event."

Despite only racing in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC for three round last season, the 27-year-old spent the majority of the season in a Fiesta R5 for Drive Dmack, scoring a victory in WRC-2 in Poland.

"We tested at the end of last year and the feeling was good. We did a lot of mileage and even though I was driving the [Ford] Fiesta R5 for most of 2014, I have a lot of experience with the [Ford] Fiesta RS WRC so it didn't take long to get back into the groove."

Looking ahead to the 2015 season-opener, Tanak is preparing for testing conditions which will make it tricky to gauge how hard he can push the car.

"I'm expecting a tough event next week. I've only done it once before and that was in 2012 when the conditions weren't as tricky as they have been more recently. It looks as though we could have some tough conditions this year so we'll need to stay calm and steady."

"The conditions change all the time. In some places you'll have full snow and in others there will be patches of Tarmac. Sometimes there'll be full grip, and sometimes there'll be no grip at all!

"It's really difficult to find the confidence without going over the limit, but we are drivers and that is our job. We need to find the balance between being fast, and being comfortable - nowhere is that more of a challenge than at Monte-Carlo so it is going to be a really tricky start to the year."