Game on for the 2021 season of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and the 110th anniversary of the Monte-Carlo Rally, behind closed doors! Fittingly enough, the best time in the first stage came from 2019 World Champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai), a good way for him to start forgetting about his huge crash last year, on Friday, at the beginning of the 2020 edition. Between Saint-Disdier and Corps, in the very heart of the Dévoluy mountains, Tänak took 12 minutes and 5 seconds to complete the 20.58km of Special Stage 01. He created a 3-second gap on the three top Toyota drivers, grouped in one second only: young star Kalle Rovanpera finished ahead of vice-champion Elfyn Evans and 7-time champion Sébastien Ogier. The last spot in the Top 5 of this first stage was taken by Belgian Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville. And the first big crash of this Monte eliminated Finnish M-Sport driver Teemu Suninen, whose Ford Fiesta rolled before falling on the side of the road, with no harm for the crew.