Sebastien Ogier says surviving the opening day at Rally Mexico with his unfavourable road position before attacking for victory will be key as the M-Sport Ford driver targets a fourth win in the Central American event.

The four-time defending WRC champion will start Rally Mexico second on the road, as dictated by championship standings behind leader Jari-Matti Latvala for Toyota Gazoo Racing, effectively ruled out his chances of victory in Mexico last year when starting first with the WRC rules enforcing championship road position for the first two days of action.

With Ogier second on the road and only for day one, he is confident of challenging for his second WRC win in the opening three rounds but won't attack until the final two days of action.

"For the first time in a number of years we won't be opening the road but it will still be a big challenge," Ogier said. "We'll be the second car into the stages so we'll still have to contend with quite a lot of road cleaning. We'll need to try to stay as close as we can over the opening day and then see what's achievable when the conditions become more consistent.

"We've had a good start to the season, but now we're going to experience something totally different. This is where we'll get a feeling for these new cars on gravel and where I'll get to experience the Fiesta's performance on this kind of surface. We had a really useful test last week with a lot of kilometres, but there really is no substitute for competition.

"It's going to be an interesting rally and I hope we can continue our good performance and continue to progress."