“The Yaris WRC has been fantastic this weekend,” said Ogier. “I had such a good feeling in the car. I think it was a good decision to do one more year. The team is great, so a huge thanks to all of them.
“The first stage this morning was incredible: There were so many grip changes and it was impossible to read because it was like black ice. The gravel crew went through the stage two hours earlier and there was nothing there at the time, just a little bit of frost. So it was really surprising. It is never the easiest to manage a lead and especially on this rally, but we did it.”
Throughout the rally, Evans regularly pondered whether he could have taken more risk and gone faster, and it was no different at the end, although he felt positive about the pace of his car.
“It was a tough final day with very challenging conditions, as it has been throughout the weekend really,” said Evans. “Maybe I didn’t push quite enough to really challenge Seb for the victory, he was very very good this weekend. It’s his home rally so it was always going to be tough – but credit to him.
“As a team it’s a fantastic start to the year. We can be happy with the points, but of course you always want more and hopefully next time I can be a bit stronger. I don’t think I quite had the feeling this weekend.
“Perhaps at the start of the year it was better not to risk everything to try to win, but we know if we want to challenge for the title we’ll have to do that during the year. However, I feel we’ve got a really strong car and a very strong team to go with it.”
Without any further service before the finish, the cars left Puget with the tyres they would have to complete the rally on, and headed straight into conditions that moire than merited the description of treacherous.
“I have never driven a stage as tricky as this one – it was amazing,” said Sordo. “How slippery is it? Some places, it’s another level!”