Welcome to the start of the 2021 World Rally Championship... we hope. Last year the WRC came through the eye of the storm in the global coronavirus pandemic to deliver a fiercely competitive season that lifted the spirits of beleaguered fans around the world.
Barely six weeks after Sebastien Ogier claimed his seventh drivers' title, the WRC is ready to do it all again, including the uncertainty - although this week's season opening in Monte Carlo Rally now looks set to go ahead as planned. What we do know about 2021 is that this will be the last year of running the hugely popular and astonishingly fast RC1 class of cars in the top category, before they give way to the delayed hybrid era in 2022.
The majority of the team and driver line-ups across the works teams of Toyota and Hyundai plus the privateer M-Sport Ford squad have also remained stable during the short weeks since Rally Monza last December. After that it's anyone's guess, so to help navigate the shifting sands of what we can expect in the months ahead, Autosport called in an expert.