Giancarlo Fisichella has described taking pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix as one of the 'best moments' of his life.
The 36-year-old veteran will start his 224th grand prix from the front of the grid at Spa on Sunday, having given Force India an historic result that was as much a surprise for him as for onlookers.
And the three-time grand prix winner admitted that the experience had reinvigorated him as he considers his future in the sport beyond the end of 2009.
"It's a big motivation for me, to go ahead, and to think positively in Formula 1," he said, in this exclusive interview.
"For me last year and the first part of this season were very frustrating. Fighting for the last positions was frustrating. Now, I want to continue. When I can fight for the top ten and to score points, then there's the motivation to go ahead."
Fisichella added that he had enjoyed the 'perfect' qualifying session and that his pole had meant more to him than the three he achieved with Benetton and Renault.
"Honestly I think it's the best one," he said. "The first time was a long time ago. But this one is different. When I was at Renault I knew the car was good enough to do a pole, but today nobody expected us to be on pole. Maybe in the top ten. So doing that is something amazing, out of the norm. I'm still dreaming, because it's incredible.
"Today I had the best qualifying of my life," he added. "Everything was going perfect. All the laps without any trouble, without any traffic, every lap was clean. This year it had never happened. There was also some problem with the tires or the traffic, so today was my day for sure."
The Italian paid tribute to Force India and the huge step forward the team has made since introducing a massive technical upgrade for last weekend's race in Valencia.
"They did a fantastic job in the wind tunnel considering our limited budget. I think we have done the best job in all the paddock, better than Ferrari, than McLaren, for sure. At the beginning of the season maybe we were nearly two seconds slower than the leaders and now we are a few tenths, so it's amazing. Already yesterday I saw a good possibility to do well, because I was sixth, but the car was not balanced well.
"There was some problem with the front wing adjustment and the figure with the data in the wind tunnel. We went through the problem during the night and this morning we put the car on the ground and straight away I felt the potential. So we were confident of being in the top 15, difficult to be in the top 10 -- and now we are on pole."
Fisichella said his target for the race would be to finish in the points, but he hasn't ruled out a shock podium finish given Force India's performance so far this weekend.
"Winning is a big word, but we have a good opportunity to do well," he said. "Our main target is to score a point, which is like winning a race, but considering where we are I think I can score quite a lot of points.
"The target from where we are I think it could be top six, but starting on pole the hope is to get on the podium."