Elfyn Evans (1st) said:

“It’s been a really good morning for us – and my best ever start to an event. It hasn’t been 100 percent perfect, but we’ve got a good package and everything’s clearly working well. It’s certainly a good confidence boost and we’ll try to keep it up this afternoon.

“But it is going to be tough out there on the second pass. We’ll need to find the balance between pushing and looking after everything. Even this morning we saw quite a few rocks pulled out by the time we got there, so for sure it’s going to be a tricky afternoon.”

Ott Tänak (4th) said:

“I didn’t have the best feeling through the first stage this morning. We had gone too soft with the set-up but we made quite a big change for the second stage [SS3] and straight away it felt a lot better. We didn’t push so much through the third stage [SS4], but still the time was not so bad.

“There’s a big battle for the podium positions, but we still need to be clever. It’s really rough out there and it will only get rougher this afternoon so we need to make sure we keep that margin.”

Sébastien Ogier (5th) said:

“It’s been a difficult morning as it has been for almost everyone today. The first stage [SS2] looked more like a cross country rally than a WRC rally – but it’s part of the game and you have to survive it.

“We also had a small mistake on the first stage [SS2] – I had a wrong pacenote and we overshot a very tight corner. We hit the bank which damaged the front bumper and cost us about five or six seconds.

“After that we tried as much as we could but it was very difficult. The last stage in particular was really loose and we lost quite a bit.

“So yes, a tough morning, but we are still fighting and this rally is as much about surviving as it is about performance.”