Lindström took on the temporary role of team manager for the Italian game, with principal Jari-Matti Latvala competing in the Fuji 24-Hour endurance race in Japan alongside Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.
It was a difficult weekend for the manufacturer’s leading team and the first time that none of their cars had finished on the podium since Rally Turkey in 2019.
Rovanperä was the top-ranked Toyota driver, bringing his GR Yaris home in fifth after opening the loose gravel roads on Friday. In doing so, the Finn extended his championship lead to 55 points.
Lindström believes the youngster has done the best job possible given the circumstances.
“I think we have to be realistic,” he told WRC.com. “I mean, Kalle is good – he’s talented and quick – but he’s not a superhuman.
“With his starting position, he started first on the road and in this rally, unfortunately, you suffer from that.
“After that, I think he did a very good job of maintaining his position, which is to say he kept Thierry [Neuville] behind. Overall he finished fifth here and extended his lead to 55 points, so I think that was unbelievably good.
“Even though Kalle is so young, he is very mature in his mind. He understands that he takes what he can get, but not by doing something stupid,” he added.
Lindström also offered his sympathy to Esapekka Lappi, who relinquished the lead on Saturday morning after going off the road following heavy compression.
“You’re never happy when this kind of thing happens and someone leaves. [the road] given the situation at that time,” he explained.
“Elfin [Evans] had already retired and Esapekka was the best player at that time, so he had to go.
“Search in [the crash], it wasn’t something he was doing at breakneck speed. When you push and try to win trades, things can happen. This time it was just an unlucky thing.