Evans won round ten of the WRC by 14.1 seconds from the Hyundai of Ott Tanak, with the same two drivers going fastest and second fastest on the end-of-rally power stage to bag five and four extra bonus points respectively.

A perfect weekend for Evans was made all the sweeter as Ogier failed to score a single point on the closing 6.9-mile run through ‘Ruuhimaki’ because of engine problems with his Yaris World Rally Car, although he did hold on to his fifth position.

With two rounds of the season remaining – Rally Spain in a fortnight’s time, and the Monza Rally on the weekend of November 19-21 – the two Toyota team-mates are now separated by 24 points.

“It’s definitely moved in the right direction, but it’s still a long, long way away,” said Evans when asked during the post event press conference if he was now more optimistic about his title chances.

“We knew it was a very remote chance after Greece and it’s not much of a better chance now. But it’s moving in the right direction.

“At the end of the day, we have to just go to the next two events that are left on the calendar and give it our best shot and get the best results we can. That’s all we can do.

“I don’t think too much about it to be honest,” he added. “After Greece it was a mathematical chance for me and now it’s slightly more realistic.

“It would only take Seb to have one retirement and it’s all open. But I don’t wish that and all we can worry about is our performance on the next two rallies.”

This is the final year the current generation of World Rally Cars will be seen on Rally Finland's stages, with their replacement – hybrid-powered Rally1 cars – expected to be marginally slower.

As well as carrying the extra weight of a battery on board to power the e-motor, the car's front and rear aero is set to be heavily pared back meaning less downforce for high-speed cornering.

“I think we are all pretty lucky to be here driving these cars now, I don’t know whether we’ll ever get a Rally Finland quite like this with so much aero,” Evans admitted.

“This style of driving again, what we are going to now, is quite different let’s say for 2022. I think we should enjoy this now while we can.”