2022 Monte Carlo Rally form guide

As a new era of the World Rally Championship begins this weekend, we take a look at how things may pan out


A brand-new World Rally Championship season is upon us, meaning it’s time for the very first form guide of the year.

And while these can never truly be taken as an accurate depiction of how the rally will play out – instead offering a hint based on previous results – it could be the cars rather than the drivers that actually make the difference on the 2022 Monte Carlo Rally.

That’s because of the new hybrid technology which has raised considerable questions of reliability, but what also remains to be seen is how well each driver adapts to a new style of driving. Will that shake up the pecking order?

We’ll need to wait until Sunday for our first indication there so for now, here’s the recent and Monte form of each Rally1 driver.

#1 Sébastien Ogier/Benjamin Veillas (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 1st-4th-5th
Last Monte result: 1st (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 1st (2014-19, 2021)


Although Sébastien Ogier can now be considered a retired WRC driver, he’s far from an out-of-form one. After all, the last time he was competing he won the Monza Rally and his eighth world title.

He therefore must start as the favorite for victory this weekend provided Toyota’s engineers have designed a car that’s up to the task of helping Ogier extend his record of Monte Carlo victories to nine.

The other curveball lies in the form of Benjamin Veillas who will call the notes for Ogier for the first time in competition, following Julien Ingrassia’s choice to call it quits after their eighth world title success in November.

#2 Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Hyundai i20 N Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 5th-7th-DNF
Last Monte result: DNF (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 25th (2020)


While continuity is precisely what no driver will be experiencing this week as they grapple with their new ride, Oliver Solberg is more than accustomed to the unknown having switched cars, teams and co-drivers regularly in 2021.

The sound of Elliott Edmondson’s voice in his ears will therefore be a welcome relief as the pair prepare for just their second WRC event together. But their first was impressive: fifth overall at Monza.

Solberg has limited experience of the Monte, having competed here just twice before and never in anything quicker than a Rally2 car, but his top-five overall stage pace last year is encouraging if he can avoid the crash that ultimately ended that blistering speed.

#8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: DNF-2nd-2nd
Last Monte result: DNF (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 2nd (2018)


After two troubled years in an i20 Coupe WRC that yielded just two rally wins and plenty of retirements, the switch to the all-new i20 N Rally1 offers Ott Tänak a welcome reprieve.

He hasn’t competed since October as he missed Monza for personal reasons but that’s unlikely to hamper him, while Tänak’s recent Monte form of two retirements doesn’t highlight what he’s really capable of either.

In the three years before 2020 and ’21 Tänak was never off the Monte podium, finishing third for M-Sport in 2017 and then for Toyota in 2019 either side of a second place finish on his Toyota debut in 2018.

#11 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 4th-1st-DNF
Last Monte result: 3rd (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 1st (2020)


Thierry Neuville’s prospects in 2022 look considerably brighter than they did in 2021 as he now has a full season of experience alongside Martijn Wydaeghe rather than just a couple of days and no competitive miles.

As a previous Monte winner and a podium finisher last year, Neuville clearly knows his way around these roads so is expected to be a factor in the battle at the front.

His own terrifying crash in testing won’t affect him one little bit, but there are questions marks over Hyundai’s readiness given the accident, the fact it began running its Rally1 car later than the others and there’s currently no permanent team principal calling the shots.

#16 Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 55th-16th-7th
Last Monte result: 9th (2021, 2nd WRC2)
Best Monte WRC result: 9th (2021)

Adrien Fourmaux (FRA)

Embarking upon a full season of WRC competition in a top-line car for the first time, Adrien Fourmaux could be a real dark horse this week.

While his recent form at the back end of 2021 didn’t justify the well-placed hype surrounding him, the off season offered Fourmaux a chance to reset and the Frenchman is at home on the mountain passes above Monaco.

His pace and results in Rally2 cars has always been extraordinary with two overall top 10 results in 2019 and ’21; the former acting as the first true time Fourmaux drew some attention to himself.

#18 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 7th-40th-37th
Last Monte result: 6th (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 6th (2021)


2021 was a real season of two halves for Takamoto Katsuta where he catapulted from hero to zero, but stability is back in the form of Aaron Johnston and the hope he is he can recapture the form that prompted DirtFish’s Colin Clark to rank him as the best driver halfway through last season.

Katsuta’s Monte Carlo form is strong with a seventh in 2020 and a then career-best finish of sixth last season. In what’s likely a useful training exercise for a future graduation to Toyota’s main team, Katsuta will be scoring manufacturer’s points for Toyota Gazoo Next Generation Team for the first time, but as the only competitor in that fold he’ll still only realistically need to focus on himself.

#19 Sébastien Loeb/Isabella Galmiche (Ford Puma Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 3rd-6th-4th
Last Monte result: 6th (2020)
Best Monte WRC result: 1st (2003-05, 2007-08, 2012-13)

Sébastien Loeb

The maestro is back. Now a decade on from his last world championship in 2012, Sébastien Loeb is still keen on some sporadic WRC appearances and will make his first ever with the M-Sport Ford team this week.

There’s another first for Loeb in the same fashion as Ogier, as Loeb’s 181st start with be his first without Daniel Elena. Instead, Isabelle Galmiche will join him aboard the Puma Rally1.

What can Loeb achieve? Monte Carlo has been one of his most successful events and was the scene of his first on-the-road victory 20 years ago, but the 2020 event for Hyundai produced a drop in form. But as Rally Spain 2018 proved, Loeb can never be discounted if an opportunity presents itself.

#33 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 2nd-2nd-1st
Last Monte result: 2nd (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 2nd (2021)


Elfyn Evans’ recent WRC form is enviable, so it’s little surprise the driver who’s been second in the championship to Ogier in the past two seasons is hotly tipped to go one better in 2022.

But how will Evans fare on the Monte? In a Toyota he’s been impeccable, stunning everyone to fight for victory on debut in 2020 before eventually salvaging third before going one better and taking second last year.

Evans has long been a bit of a wizard on dry asphalt (despite never actually winning a Tarmac round of the WRC before) and this week’s weather forecast doesn’t suggest a wild and snowy Monte, so Evans should be at the races at the very least.

#42 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Ford Puma Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 3rd-2nd-2nd
Last Monte result: 9th (2018)
Best Monte WRC result: 5th (2017)

Craig Breen (IRL)

Any hope Craig Breen had of escaping the headlines diminished when he crashed in testing last Wednesday. But the new M-Sport driver is adamant that off hasn’t blunted his confidence. And why should it when you glance at his recent WRC form of three podiums in as many rounds?

Breen hasn’t competed on the Monte since 2018 though, so that caveat must be applied. But if M-Sport has built a quick car out the box, then there’s no reason to suggest that Breen shouldn’t be fighting for yet another podium this week given how comfortable he has looked in his new surroundings, clocking in the test miles while his rivals were competing.

#44 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (Ford Puma Rally1)

Last 3 WRC results: 8th-6th-6th
Last Monte result: 8th (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 7th (2019, 1st WRC2)

Gus Greensmith (GBR)

Twelve months ago, Gus Greensmith was a lost soul on the Monte. He returns to the event in a far more settled position but under no illusions that he must improve further to establish himself at the front of the WRC.

Greensmith has two clear aims this season: a stage win and a podium finish. Both could be tricky to achieve on round one though given the complex nature of the event, but Greensmith has gone well here in the past with a very accomplished drive to seventh overall in a Fiesta R5 three years ago.

#69 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC)

Last 3 WRC results: 9th-5th-34th
Last Monte result: 4th (2021)
Best Monte WRC result: 4th (2021)


After a heavily restricted performance in Monza where he was asked to simply drive and not interfere with the drivers’ title fight between his team-mates, Kalle Rovanperä will be unleashed again on the Monte.

It may be loosely assumed that this tricky alpine rally doesn’t suit the Finn, but Rovanperä led the Monte after three stages last year. And it’s become abundantly clear in the last two years that Rovanperä is a fast learner and performs well on rallies new to everyone – look at Ypres and Acropolis last year.

There’s plenty of talk that Rovanperä might go all the way in 2022, but the same could equally be true for the Monte as well. Don’t write him off too quickly.