Hayden Paddon feels it is tricky to predict where his factory Hyundai squad will slot into the pecking order at Rally Monte Carlo with the new regulations and new cars for 2017.
The New Zealand driver is gearing up for the season opener this weekend with the official debut of the new Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC alongside team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo as WRC enters its new era with the regulations revamp.
Paddon, whose only previous Rally Monte Carlo experience ended in disappointment last year, is relishing the new season and potentially battling for world titles with the withdrawal of Volkswagen Motorsport but isn't certain where Hyundai will stack up against the likes of M-Sport Ford, Citroen and Toyota.
“I am feeling in good shape and raring to go for the season ahead,” Paddon said. “I am cautiously optimistic about the potential of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC but we never really know where we stand until we're out on the stages.
“Monte-Carlo is a baptism of fire for everyone, particularly with the new regulations, so it promises to be an exciting rally. However, it is also the most challenging event of the year so the focus for us is to finish and get more miles in the new car for the rest of the season.”