Robert Kubica will be one of the favourites for victory when he starts his first European Rally Championship round in the Canaries later this month according to M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson.
Kubica conducted his first significant rally testing with Wilson's squad last season, when he reportedly drove the Fiesta RS WRC faster than both of Ford's then regular drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg
Wilson believes the Polish driver, competing in a Citroen DS3 RRC, will surprise a few people this season.
"On asphalt, there's no doubt he'll be right there," Wilson said.
"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't win in the Canary Islands.
"He is a very, very quick driver, but the question mark is on the loose.
"We never had him in one of our cars on the loose, so it'll be very interesting to see how he goes."
Wilson added that he was disappointed not to be running Kubica's WRC2 and ERC effort.
"I guess he had a better offer from Citroen," said Wilson, "and that's the way it goes sometimes: you win some and you lose some.
"The good thing, however, is that Robert has committed to rallying and that's another shot in the arm for our sport."