Sebastien Ogier has hailed his victory on Rally Italia Sardegna as "very important" in his fight to win the WRC Drivers' title for a third year in a row.

Ogier put in a near faultless drive in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC, and despite his road position, running first on the road on days one and two, kept himself in contention, before grabbing the lead on Saturday afternoon.

He eventually won by over 3 minutes and now increases his points tally for the season to 133 - almost double that of his closest rival, Mads Ostberg.

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"The win here on Sardinia was very important in our fight for the world championship. We now have a big lead over our rivals," Ogier said after round 6 of 13.

"I did not expect this kind of result here and it was very difficult to open the road, but everything worked perfectly. The decisive factor for the success in addition to a perfect car and a fantastic team was that Julien [Ingrassia - my co-driver] and I were in perfect harmony this weekend.

"This is nothing unusual, but there were so many new stages here and the days were so long, that we both needed to be fully focussed the whole time.

"On top of that is the heat in the cockpit and the demanding and harsh stages - at the end of the day you are absolutely shattered when you fall into bed.

"This has been the most physically demanding rally of the season so far, which is why I am so delighted and proud of this success in Italy."

Meanwhile, Volkswagen boss Jost Capito also believes the victory is a crucial one for Ogier.

"Rally Italia Sardegna had many highs and lows for Volkswagen and ultimately a happy ending. The third win in a row here for Sebastien and Julien sees them take a big step forward in the Drivers' and Co-Drivers' Championship, and it is also worth its weight in gold for Volkswagen in the Manufacturers' Championship [with our leading there increasing to 67 points]," he added.

"Winning this hot rally, which is very demanding on the car, is far from easy and certainly not a stroll in the park. We learned that the hard way with Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen [who ended up sixth and 36th in the sister cars]. However, both made the most of difficult situations after the set-backs. I have the utmost respect for their efforts too."

"I am pleased for the entire team and we can look back on an extremely successful first half of the season together. All the cogs fit together perfectly throughout the entire team - from driver to mechanic, engineer to chef, and logistician to medical department.

"We can all be very proud of that," Capito concluded.