Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia capped off their partnership together with a 54th career victory. Pushed hard across the three days by title rivals Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin, they won by 7.3 seconds. “I don’t know what to say – it’s amazing,” said Ogier at the end of this his final full season in the WRC. He later congratulated Evans on "a great fight".

Ogier’s quest for an eighth crown was almost ended by one of the concrete chicanes on Sunday’s first stage. Navigating the famous banked section of the sprawling circuit, the front right wheel of his Yaris kissed the edge of the obstacle, sending sparks flying. Luckily, the damage to the tyre and rim was purely superficial.

Not so lucky was Evans on the penultimate stage. 2.1km into ‘Serraglio’, he locked up the brakes on his Yaris, hit a bale and stalled the engine. Combined with a second stall later in the same test, Ogier’s lead at the top of the leaderboard mushroomed to 7.6 seconds – the biggest it had been over the weekend - before this was trimmed by three-tenths-of-a-second at the end.

“It has been an OK year, but I can’t help but feel disappointed right now,” said Evans, who finishes runner-up in the WRC standings for a second successive campaign. “You always look to those places that you could have done better but I have to say a very special thank you to this team. We have had a fantastic atmosphere, a fantastic car, and fantastic people to work with,” he added.

Dani Sordo – known as 'Mr Consistent' by Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo – once again delivered in third place. He intentionally positioned his car in the middle of the road and went for the harder compound Pirelli to make it back-to-back podiums on the last two rounds. “To be honest, I am really happy to get a podium,” said Sordo. “Today has been quite relaxed; I had a good gap to Thierry, so I didn’t want to make a mistake. I enjoyed the weekend a lot.”

Team-mate Thierry Neuville let third place slip on Saturday morning following a run in with a piece of armco barrier. He regrouped and fought back hard but persistent understeer prevented him from making a meaningful dent in the Spaniard’s cushion. By close of play at Rally Monza, 10.7 seconds separated them. One solace for Neuville was the five extra points he collected by topping the timesheets on the Power Stage.

After only a handful of starts, Hyundai Motorsport protégé Oliver Solberg scored his best WRC result to date by finishing fifth. But he, too, had his moments. The young Swede avoided a possible puncture when he touched a barrier on the day’s opening stage and later admitted he had been “very lucky”. He also had a spin on the penultimate test when gravel pulled out onto the road by an earlier runner caught him unawares.

Solberg was being chased down by Toyota junior Takamoto Katsuta but the Japanese star overcooked it on the second to last test, ploughing into a chicane and buckling the front left wheel on his Yaris. Miraculously, his mechanics managed to repair the damage to get him to the start of the Power Stage and he repaid their efforts with a second fastest time and four additional points.

Sandwiched between them was the third Hyundai Motorsport i20 Coupe WRC driven by Teemu Suninen – the stand-in replacement for the team’s regular driver Ott Tanak who is missing for personal reasons. M-Sport Ford's Gus Greensmith and Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera rounded out the WRC runners in eighth and ninth places respectively.