Carlos Sainz has insisted he "needed" his flawless final run that earned second on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver has yet to make the podium this season with both Sainz and his team faltering on occasion, losing out to teammate Charles Leclerc, Mercedes and Aston Martin.
But with Leclerc failing to advance to Q2 in a nightmarish session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the track ramped up following earlier rain, Sainz delivered to become Max Verstappen's closest challenger.
Addressing his stunning final effort, Sainz said: "I needed it because it was super-tight, very tricky conditions.
"It was probably the most tricky qualifying I have had here in Barcelona in terms of conditions, but we did it.
"We are in the best possible position for tomorrow and now we can focus on trying to get that podium."
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"I felt like I was driving very well, it is always one-tenth here, one-tenth there but I didn't leave anything on the table," added Sainz.
"I was pushing flat out, it was very tight with McLaren, Alpine, Mercedes and Alpine - we were all in the same group this weekend.
"P2 is as far as I can make it."