More than 300 full-speed miles are expected to be distributed over 16 special routes. The winter weather in the French Alps paves for varying conditions on the roads. Dry asphalt, wet, water, ice stains or snow - drivers must be prepared to tackle everything, sometimes even within the same distance, which makes tire selection extra difficult.

- The grip level between ice and asphalt differs extremely, so you have to anticipate a great deal when you arrive at a slippery place. In many rallies, the tire choice falls naturally, here you have to think a lot about it, says Loeb.

With his seven victories in Monte Carlo, Sébastien Loeb is the one who won the rally most times throughout the ages and he calls for some caution.

- It's a rally where you have to run full where you know you can but in other parts you have to predict the risk small. It's a rally that you have to do with your head and not just with your feet, Loeb says.

World champion's race debut in the new car

It is not only the unpredictable basis that makes the World Cup premier extra exciting. For many of the World Cup drivers, this will also be the first race in a new car.

The preseason included several notable team changes with world champion Ott Tänak in the lead. The Estonian who last year took his first World Cup title chose shortly after securing the gold to leave Toyota for the champion of the brand World Cup - Hyundai.

- I look to the future and am more than eager to keep winning. I have to say that Mr. Adamo (Team Manager for Hyundai, editorial note) has done a good job over the past year and believes it is the best place to be, says Ott Tänak in the rally magazine.

Most other drivers start just like Tänak this year's season in a new team including six-time world champion Sébastien Ogier.

In Rally magazine tonight 22:15 in SVT2 and SVT Play you meet last year's top trio in the World Cup and hear about several of the World Cup drivers thoughts for this year's season. In addition, an insight into the challenges of the Monte Carlo rally in this week's World Cup premiere.

Rallymagsinet 22:15 SVT2 & SVT Play
Commentators: Maria Wallberg and Jonas Kruse