Carlos Sainz was relieved to take Pole Position for the United States Grand Prix, believing the result is just reward for his Formula 1 efforts.
Sainz was the only driver of the four to have taken a pole in 2022 not to have done so in dry-weather conditions, with his two previous poles being in the wet at Silverstone and a promotion from P2 on the grid at Spa.
The Ferrari driver has felt that his one-lap pace has been strong throughout the season, but has not been able to convert that into regular Pole Positions, and is often pipped by teammate Charles Leclerc.
However, at Austin, Sainz beat Leclerc by 0.065s to take P1 outright, with Leclerc carrying a grid penalty.
Sainz believes that taking this Pole Position - the third of his career - was long overdue.
Sainz relieved to secure dry-weather Pole Position
"It's been a long year, and obviously, from the beginning of the year, [I was] struggling with the car," he explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Little by little, I was making steps forward.
"I feel like the last five to seven races, I have been very close to the limit already in qualifying, but the Pole Position in the dry was never quite coming.
"It's been extremely tight with these two guys [Leclerc and Verstappen], since before the summer break, but for some reason or another, I was falling half-a-tenth short.
"I really wanted to make one stick and it was great to get it out of the way."
Viewed by others:
Sainz: I believed result would come
Sainz has admitted at times in 2022 that he has not felt as comfortable as Leclerc in extracting performance from the F1-75, but also revealed how he has been working to make himself more at home.
"I keep my head down and keep trusting that one day it was going to come," he explained.
"I keep trying different things in free practice to keep getting the car a bit more to my liking.
"I try different things on driving style, on set-up, on toys and on everything. On some weekends I get it wrong, others I get it right and it gives me a bit of an edge and I can keep progressing.
"Keeping faith and keeping trust that it was going to come was the key - and obviously making a clean lap!
"There have been qualifying [sessions] this year where I have been half-a-tenth off pole, and I had done a fairly big mistake in the last or second to last sector that had cost me."
F1 Podcast: Do F1's rules on championship points in shortened races need modifying?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Japanese Grand Prix, including Max Verstappen's dominant run to his second World Championship, and whether F1's current system of awarding points in shortened races needs tweaking.