Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Jost Capito said the pace of the new Polo R WRC on the opening loop of Monte Carlo Rally stages came as a relief.
VW's Sebastien Ogier posted the fastest time on Wednesday morning's opening test, claiming a debut stage win for the car which has been under development in Hannover for the last 18 months. He remains second behind Sebastien Loeb.
"I can't say I am surprised - not in a negative way or in a positive way - I didn't know what to expect because we had no benchmark for the car," Capito told AUTOSPORT.
"But of course, I am relieved to see both of the cars back in service."
Click here for AUTOSPORT's full analysis of VW's 2013 WRC chances
Capito added that the team would not be getting carried away with having held the early lead of the opening WRC round of 2013.
"It's good for the team and for everybody who has worked so hard back in Germany," said Capito, "but this is one stage. Having said that, for the first time we are competing, it doesn't get better than beating Sebastien Loeb on such a difficult stage.
"This shows the potential for the car and it shows we have done our recent work on the car right."
Asked if he had been nervous ahead of the start, Capito replied: "Yes, I was nervous. But then if I wasn't nervous this morning then I was definitely in the wrong job..."