The Swede headed Spain’s championship leader, Jan Solans, by 24.2sec with Dennis Rådström a further 3.8sec adrift in third. All three are at the wheel of Ford Fiesta R2 cars.

Julius Tannert won Thursday night’s curtain-raising street stage in Jyväskylä but a puncture in today’s opening speed test demoted the German as Kristensson moved to the front.

He built his lead throughout the day and won four of the 10 gravel tests. Rådström held second until Solans eased by the Swede in the penultimate special stage.

Estonia’s Roland Poom was more than 40sec off the lead pace in fourth, with Martins Sesks and rookie Sami Pajari completing the top six. Sesks was third until a puncture delayed the Latvian.

Enrico Oldrati rolled but was able to get back on four wheels and continue thanks to the help of some locals, but Raul Badiu was less fortunate. The n crashed heavily, suffering two fractured ribs and concussion. He will stay in hospital overnight.

Britain’s Tom retired after damaging his Fiesta’s sump but is expected to restart tomorrow.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Neste Rally Finland, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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