In terms of being able to keep a car on the road at 2021 speeds on Rally Finland, the 2021 drivers are clearly the fastest we’ve ever seen. But are they better?
It’s a question that is impossible to answer with any certainty, in the same way that you can’t compare sporting teams or players from different eras.
A 1986-spec Audi Quattro S1 had 600 horsepower and could literally do wheel stands in the right conditions, but on 1980s spec tyres and suspension, it wouldn’t even be in the ballpark when competing against Elfyn Evans’ Toyota Yaris WRC.
In a nutshell, that’s where the comparison has to end.
Walter Rohrl, Hannu Mikkola, Markku Alen and co. were all superhuman to manhandle those cars through the forest as fast as they did, so there’s nothing to say that a 25-year old version of themselves couldn’t drive a Yaris just as quickly as Evans, etc. in 2021.