Ogier’s speed through the closing test was severely curtailed when the engine in his Toyota Yaris mysteriously lost power.

As the incident unfolded, on-board footage showed a clearly frustrated Ogier looking closely at his instrument binnacle before glancing down at the dash’s lower console.

The setback ended his hopes of bagging maximum bonus points, with those, instead, going to his team-mate and title rival, Elfyn Evans.

It meant the Welshman – who became only the second British to win in Finland in its 70-year history – reduced Ogier’s lead at the top of the standings to 24 points with rounds in Spain and Italy remaining.

Having had the chance to inspect his Yaris after the event, Ogier revealed his mechanics concluded a hard impact on the car’s underbody appeared to have been the cause of the drop in engine performance.

“Obviously, we were hoping for a better result on this rally, but the race went badly for us right from the outset,” said Ogier, who finished in fifth position.

“On Friday, then on Saturday morning, our performance was lacking. Of course, that was partly due to the fact that we were opening the road on the first day, but that didn't explain everything.

“I wasn't fast enough, didn't feel enough at ease in the car whereas on such a unique rally as this you absolutely need a good feeling to be able to drive on the limit.

“On Saturday we had confirmation that there was indeed another factor involved. At this point we decided to try a set-up closer to the one Elfyn was using, and from that moment the car became easier to feel and to drive and I was able to find more confidence and be faster.

"Nonetheless in the standings the harm was done as we couldn't catch up with the first four. We then had just one objective remaining: to grab some extra points in the power stage.

“Unfortunately, that didn't work out as we had hoped, either. After a stone impact in the sump guard the engine had an [electrical] short cut and then lacked power for the rest of the stage.

“Our chance of finishing with a good time vanished and so we had to settle for the points for fifth place,” he added.

"What adds to my frustration is that we were not able to put up a fight in the Power Stage, where I so much wanted to give it everything in order to wind up in style this last gravel rally with the current cars.

“I’m already focused on Spain, where I can’t wait to race next week. It will be the first time for several months that we'll take to the road without being penalised with road sweeping on the first day and honestly, that will feel good.”