Sebastien Ogier maintains a half-minute lead on Rally Finland, as M-Sport teammates Mads Ostberg and Thierry Neuville fight furiously for second.
Other than on the legendary Ouninpohja, where he was determined to get a stage win, Ogier kept things cool on Saturday morning and managed his advantage.
Anything less than flat-out was not on the agenda for Neuville and Ostberg, though. Their positions swapped on all four stages, ending up with Ostberg 2.8sec ahead of his teammate coming into the final loop after lunchtime service.
Mikko Hirvonen was unable to keep in touch with the battling Fords in front, but his fourth place is now more secure as Kris Meeke had a 360-degree spin on the day's opening stage. Sixth-placed Jarkko Nikara also consolidated his position as nearest rival Dani Sordo struggled ever more with confidence in the slippery conditions.
In WRC2, Jari Ketomaa continues to hold a commanding lead over Robert Kubica.
Leading positions after SS17:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 3h22m57.9s
2. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford +31.5s
3. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford +34.3s
4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen +59.7s
5. Kris Meeke Citroen +1m39.9s
6. Jarkko Nikara Prodrive Mini +3m03.1s
7. Dani Sordo Citroen +4m41.0s
8. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford +7m52.2s
9. Jari Ketomaa Autotek Ford +8m23.2s*
10. Robert Kubica PH Citroen +9m57.0s*