MONACO (AP) — Sebastien Ogier won his fifth straight Monte Carlo rally on Sunday, making the perfect start to the season as he bids for a sixth straight world title.

The 34-year-old Frenchman became the first to win Monte Carlo five times in a row and notched the 41st race win of his career. Although he led from Thursday onward he found the conditions and the competition tough going at times.

"It was a really difficult weekend. Monte Carlo is always difficult but this one was really complicated, especially in terms of tires," the Ford Fiesta driver said. "It's great to start the season like this; the team has worked really hard."

He finished 58 seconds ahead of Estonian driver Ott Tanak, having led the Toyota Yaris driver by 34 seconds overnight. Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala, also driving a Yaris, kept hold of third place but finished 1 minute, 52 seconds adrift of Ogier.

Having not won any of Saturday's five stages, Ogier got off to a good start by winning the day's opener — stage 14 — featuring a tricky icy descent down the Turini pass.

Belgian driver Thierry Neuville, last year's world rally runner-up to Ogier, won stage 15 and 16 in his Hyundai while the next and last was clinched by Britain's Kris Meeke (Citroen). Ogier played 17 safe and negotiated it with a cautious drive for fifth place.

Meeke placed fourth overall and Neuville was fifth. Both were nearly five minutes behind Ogier — who is only the second driver to win five world titles. Countryman Sebastien Loeb won nine straight from 2004-2012.

The next rally is in the frozen forests of Sweden in three weeks' time.