The 39-year-old French driver has now overtaken his compatriot, non-world rally champion Sébastien Loeb, in the Monegasque event.

The Frenchman, who is on a partial programme with Toyota this season in the WRC, won the ninth Monte Carlo Rally of his career on Sunday 22 January. The Frenchman had a 16-second lead over his nearest rival, Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), going into Sunday’s final four stages, but he held on to his 18-second lead over the reigning Finnish world champion. Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) completed the podium 44 seconds behind.

“It’s huge (…), we need to enjoy these moments and that’s the reason why we are always there, to win victories like this. Winning such a famous victory as the Monte is priceless,” said Sebastien Ogier, who is now teamed with Vincent Landais as co-driver. “I’m so happy for Vincent (…), for him it’s a dream to win his first WRC race,” he added.

The Toyota driver dominated the event from start to finish, winning nine of the 18 stages on the roads of southern France. Sébastien Ogier has become a legend in his sport. The eight-time world rally champion snatched one of the previous records from his great rival and compatriot, Sebastien Loeb, by winning his ninth stage on the famous Monegasque rally.