Elfyn Evans says he has “no regrets” over his approach to the 2020 World Rally Championship season finale despite crashing out of the Monza Rally and losing the title to his Toyota team-mate Sébastien Ogier.
The 31-year-old entered the final round of the shortened season with a 14-point advantage over Ogier in the drivers’ championship, having won Rally Sweden and Rally Turkey earlier in the year.
Heading into Monza Rally’s Saturday afternoon loop, Evans was running in third – and in position to take his maiden WRC title – but slid off the road and out of title contention during the second stage of the afternoon, which forced him to retire from the rest of the day’s action.
Ogier won the rally to claim his seventh WRC title, while three points on the powerstage was all Evans had to show from his weekend.
“Yeah for sure,” replied Evans, speaking to DirtFish, when asked if the result felt bittersweet. “We always had high hopes of course.
“But at the same time, I also have no regrets either, I think our approach was the right one for the event. It was important to keep on Séb’s tail.
“Actually, the pace and the way I was driving all felt normal. It wasn’t a forced rhythm or taking big risks.
“Of course, like always in those conditions, things can catch you by surprise. It’s just the way it’s gone this time, but I guess we can take confidence from the fact that we have got the speed to fight at the front.”
Evans is already looking ahead to 2021 – with the Monte Carlo Rally just over six weeks away – but he acknowledged it will be tough to prevent Ogier, who he described as a “very worthy champion”, from picking up his eighth title in his final year in the WRC before he retires.
“There’s a lot of areas where we feel we can improve,” Evans added.
“We know that Seb is extremely strong across the board. Whether it’s tricky conditions, whether it’s looking after your tires in dry gravel rallies and all of these types of things.
“He’s very difficult to beat at the end of the day, he’s been a tough team-mate. [He’s a] very worthy champion this year.
“We’re going to have to find some small improvements to take the fight to him and try and beat him next year.”