Kris Meeke was the last UK driver to finish on the top step of the podium on the fastest round of the World Rally Championship, with that coming in 2016 with the Citroen Racing squad.

The result was doubly significant for Evans as he also claimed maximum points in the end-of-rally power stages to narrow the gap to his Toyota team-mate and championship leader Sebastien Ogier to 24 points.

“This one feels good, especially the way in which we managed to do it as well,” said Evans, last year’s runner-up in the WRC title race.

“We struggled a lot in Estonia, so we made some changes to the car in the [pre-Finland] test and found some confidence early on.

"I had a good rhythm from our road position on Friday and then I managed to take the fight to the other boys on Saturday.

“It feels pretty good and a massive thanks to the team; I’m happy to give them this win on their home rally.”

Asked what the result meant for his hopes of denying Ogier an eighth world crown, Evans added: “I said from the outset our aim was to do the best job we can on the rallies that are left.

“Obviously this one was good but now we have to focus on doing our best in Spain and then worry about the rest later.”

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin had a relatively comfortable Sunday drive as the big push threatened by runner-up Ott Tanak at the end of the penultimate day never fully materialised.

Tanak could only manage a single scratch time, with that coming on today’s opening stage – the 7.3-miles of ‘Laukaa 1’. Even then, it was only by four tenths of a second.

Remarkably, this is the first time a Hyundai driver has been part of the post-event celebrations and Tanak believes the lessons learned will help the team as the sport enters a new hybrid era next year.

“It has been great fun but I think the most difficult thing is we did not have a base [setting],” said Tanak, whose efforts this weekend were rewarded with four extra points on the power stage.

“I would say we missed some things, so next time [in 2022] when we come back we will come back stronger. It will be with a different concept but we will try to do better then.”

On what looks like being his final appearance in Hyundai Motorsport colours, Craig Breen claimed the final step on the rostrum to make it three podium finishes on each of his last three outings.

He led by close of play on the Friday and the early part of Saturday before Evans made his move and left the Irishman wondering what might have been.

"I would have loved to have gone that extra level and fought for the win; it’s not there yet but it’s so much better than it’s been in the past,” he admitted.

Esapekka Lappi - making his return to the WRC's top tier since last December's Monza Rally - was a non-mover on Saturday and that remained the case on Sunday as the Finn finished his home round in fourth.

He was a minute and 44.8 seconds clear of Ogier, who saw his hopes of winning the power stage derailed when his Yaris WRC developed mechanical problems. “The engine just stopped, the power was not there. It was not the best weekend for us but it is part of the game,” said the Frenchman.

M-Sport Ford’s Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux brought their respective Fiestas home in sixth and seventh after a largely uneventful three days of competition.

In WRC2, Teemu Suninen was imperious first time out in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 – a result that fuels the Finn with confidence ahead of Rally Spain in a fortnight’s time which he will contest with Hyundai.

The final gap to him and WRC2 runner-up Mads Ostberg was almost 16 seconds.