Ott Tänak placed fifth in the World Rally Championship (WRC) season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, which finished Sunday. The race was Tänak's first with M-Sport Ford, which he joined last last year.
After placing third at the end of the opening day's stages on Thursday, the Estonian dropped a place on Friday, while on Saturday, steering issues caused him to fall to fifth place, where he remained through to race-end, though was still the highest-placing M-Sport Ford driver.
Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja also took a consolation second place in the event finale, the power stage, 0.6 seconds off the top-placed car.
The race was won by WRC eight-time champion Sebastien Ogier (Toyota), with the Frenchman posting his ninth victory in the principality and followed by teammate and 2022 world champion Kalle Rovanperä (Finland), Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota), Tänak (2.34.8 behind Ogier), Takamoto Katsuta (Japan, Toyota) and Dani Sordo (Spain, Hyundai).
After race one of the season, Tänak lies in the same position in the drivers' table he took after the weekend, ie. fifth.
The next WRC race is in Sweden, February 9-12.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Henrik Laever