Neuville closed the gap to four-tenths of a second by winning the penultimate stage as Ogier was struck with suspected throttle sticking problems.
With the Hyundai driver on the road before Ogier on the Power Stage he set the target to beat but Ogier kept his nerve to claim victory by 2.2s.
It marks Ogier’s sixth consecutive WRC victory at Rallye Monte-Carlo and Citroen’s 100th overall win in the series. Despite narrowly missing out on victory Neuville’s second place still marks his best career result at the iconic event.
Ott Tanak leapt from fifth place to the final rostrum spot for Toyota Gazoo Racing in a strong recovery drive following a puncture on SS7 which denied him the chance to fight for victory.
Kris Meeke secured a distant sixth place on his Toyota debut following a costly stop on SS7 which dropped him out of contention but he did claim a late boost with victory on the Power Stage ahead of Ogier and Neuville.
In WRC2, Gus Greensmith completed a dominant display for M-Sport Ford by winning the class and finishing the 2019 opener in seventh place overall. The British driver claimed the class win by 51.9s ahead of Citroen’s Yoann Bonato with Stephane Sarrazin (Hyundai) and Adrien Fourmaux rounding out the top ten finishers.
Top 15 results at Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first round of the 2019 World Rally Championship.
1. Sebastien Ogier FRA Citroen C3 WRC 3hr 21m 15.9s
2. Thierry Neuville BEL Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +2.2s
3. Ott Tanak EST Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing +2m 15.2s
4. Sebastien Loeb FRA Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +2m 28.2s
6. Kris Meeke GBR Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing +5m 36.2s
7. Gus Greensmith GBR M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 +13m 04.6s
8. Yoann Bonato FRA Citroen C3 R5 +13m 56.5s
9. Stephane Sarrazin FRA Hyundai i20 R5 +14m 06.8s
10. Adrien Fourmaux FRA Ford Fiesta R5 +16m 03.4s
11. Teemu Suninen FIN M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +17m 56.8s*
12. Ole Christian Veiby NOR Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 +18m 13.2s
13. Takamoto Katsuta JPN Tommi Makinen Racing Ford Fiesta R5 +19m 57.9s
14. Rhys Yates GBR Skoda Fabia R5 +20m 54.9s
15. Olivier Burri SWI Skoda Fabia R5 +22m 07.1s
Elfyn Evans GBR M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC SS10 Accident
Andreas Mikkelsen NOR Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC SS10 – Lost wheel
Esapekka Lappi FIN Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing SS6 – Mechanical
Pontus Tidemand SWE M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC SS6 – Mechanical
*Restarted under Rally 2 rules
Source and image: crash.net