George Russell was left beaming with pride after securing Williams' best qualifying position for three years ahead of Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.
After fearing for his chances of even reaching Q2, Russell eventually missed out on a place in the top-10 shootout by just 0.057s to AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly after pulling out a stellar lap at Portimão.
Russell will start the race from 11th, the team's best grid slot since Lance Stroll qualified 10th in the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.
"It was a great performance from us," said Russell. "I did not expect Q2 after this morning, yet alone P11 on the grid.
"We made it happen when it counted which seems to be the theme at the moment.
"It’s our best qualifying position in three years so I’m really proud. We all have our responsibilities, and as a team, we did a really good job.
"Tomorrow we’ve got to keep moving forward. We have a good race car – it’s fast on the straights, so let’s see what we can do."
Assessing his chances of finally ending his points drought with Williams, Russell added: "I would say race pace looks stronger than qualifying pace, to be honest.
"We have the fastest car in a straight line. which will help us to defend or attack. We need to make a clean start.
"We qualified 12th last week and were in a points-paying position for the majority. We have got a chance so let's see what happens."
Hailing Russell's latest 'Mr Saturday' display, head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said: "Fortunately, after a tricky FP3, we got it right when it counted and having got into Q2 again, George was able to hone the preparation ready for a final push lap, which he was able to execute brilliantly.
"We are a bit frustrated not to get into Q3, however, we are in a strong position for tomorrow as the first car with a new tyre to start the race."
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