Sebastien Ogier says every World Rally Championship factory contender will be a title rival for the 2018 season as he begins his hunt for a sixth consecutive world title.

After securing a fifth consecutive WRC title despite switching from the departing Volkswagen squad to M-Sport Ford last year, Ogier is keen to start the 2018 campaign strongly at his home event Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Ogier has won the past four Rallye Monte-Carlo events but is wary of multiple threats from all three of M-Sport Ford’s WRC manufacturer rivals Hyundai, Citroen and Toyota.

“We started something great here last year and want to try and build on that in 2018,” Ogier said. “We will need to work hard as the competition will be very tough. Every team has a winning car and a winning driver so everyone is a threat and we need to be ready right from the start.

“We start the new season with an event that is always a real highlight for me – Rallye Monte-Carlo. As my home event, I always want to give my best and challenge for the top results.

“It’s such a challenging start to the season – the ultimate test with extreme conditions that can see us go from dry Tarmac to pure ice and snow in the space of a single stage. It’s certainly not easy, but that’s what makes a good result here so rewarding.”

Ogier will lead the Rallye Monte-Carlo charge as defending WRC champion and act as road sweeper for his rivals over the opening stages with the usual mix of snow, ice and rain expect to produce tricky conditions.