M-Sport WRC team principal Malcolm Wilson believes Elfyn Evans took another 'vital step' last weekend on Rally Italia Sardegna.

The Welshman has stepped up to the top level this year and in Sardinia he ran in the top-six for much of the event in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, eventually finishing fifth overall to grab his fourth points' result of the 2014 WRC season.

Evans also posted some good stage times, including going fourth quickest in SS3, SS13 and SS16.

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"We've seen another vital step in Elfyn's learning process this weekend and another strong result which sees him climb from eighth to sixth in the drivers' championship," said Wilson.

"I have been very impressed with his maturity and he can be very pleased with the job he has done this weekend."

"He's given himself a positive base to build on now as the season progresses and it will be interesting to see how he fares in Poland [at the end of this month]. It will be a new event for the majority of the field, and that will give him a good measure of where he is and where he can make further improvements," Wilson added.

Evans meanwhile was also pretty happy with his performance: "There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend," said the Crash.net columnist, who only twelve months ago made his World Rally Car debut in Sardinia.

"We showed good speed at times and we've managed to run a clean event with no mistakes and no dramas at all. The car has been absolutely perfect all weekend, so all in all a very productive weekend.

"Our next target will be to maintain the gap to the leaders throughout an entire weekend. Poland is going to be another new event for us so we'll need to approach that with the aim of gaining as much experience as possible. Finland too will provide another steep learning curve as we haven't had chance to complete the full rally in a four-wheel-drive car.

"That said I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming events.

"We've made some good progress this weekend and I'm encouraged to continue that trend as the season continues," he concluded.