The bookies place Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke as the early favourite to win the Drivers' Championship outright, but Sebastien Ogier is still a strong contender to break the ice in his first outing since VW’s departure.
The 2017-spec World Rally cars are yet to compete against each other, however the pre-event Shakedown combined with two night stages on Thursday are likely to give drivers, teams and fans a glimpse into the speed that can be expected from drivers this year.
Four-times World Champion Sebastien Ogier is known for his pace and calm driving style under pressure at courses across the world, and Monte Carlo is no exception. The Gap-born Frenchman has finished first at Monte Carlo for the last three years running, and the move from a Polo R WRC to a Ford Fiesta WRC is unlikely to put a halt to his winning streak.
Kris Meeke ran on a reduced schedule in 2016 while Citroen focused on testing for the 2017 championship as they switch from the DS3 to the C3. Despite this, Meeke still managed to bag victories in Portugal and Finland. A whole year of testing, along with two rally victories puts Meeke in a strong position to bag Citroen an early rally win at Monte Carlo.
However, Ogier should have the edge over the course of the season and his odds of 15/8 from Sky Bet for the drivers' championship seem like a very generous offer for a man with such a taste for success.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Sebastien Ogier to win the 2017 Driver’s Championship at 15/8
Please note, odds may fluctuate.