Stephane Sarrazin says he intends to keep out of trouble when he returns to rallying in Monte Carlo next week and let the event come to him.
The Peugeot Le Mans racer is contesting the Intercontinental Rally Challenge opener again in an S2000 Peugeot 207. Last year he finished third in the event, but had lost time early on with an error and a puncture.
"I think I was competitive in the snow and on the clear asphalt, but it takes more than that to win the Monte Carlo," said Sarrazin. "It's not simply about speed; not only do you need to be quick, but you also need to keep clear of the many pitfalls it can throw at you from start to finish.
"Just once, I failed to evaluate correctly the amount of grip I would have, and that was enough to put me out of the fight for the top spot."
Last year's Monte winner Sebastien Ogier is also making a one-off return for the event with Peugeot, and agreed that the best strategy was to be patient. In 2009, Ogier ran fourth initially before increasing his pace as others hit trouble.
"This year, I intend to apply the same strategy that worked so well for me last year," he said. "That involves accepting that you have to drop time in certain places if you are to gain time elsewhere."
Former Formula 1 driver Sarrazin switched to rallying full-time for a period in the mid-2000s, when he was part of Subaru's factory World Rally Championship team, but sports cars are now his main priority again. However, he expects to quickly get back up to speed on the Monte.
"I don't do much rallying nowadays, yet I feel as at home behind the wheel of my 207 S2000 as I do in the 908 HDi FAP," he said. "I am sure my rally instincts will return as I get to the first corner of the first stage."