For Lando Norris, this moment had been coming all year, even if he would never have said so himself.
The modest and self-effacing 21-year-old Briton has been one of the stars of the season in his McLaren. There have been a number of standout performances. And in Russia on Saturday he pulled out the best of the lot for his maiden Formula 1 pole position.
As statements go, this was a big one. More than half a second clear of anyone else, more than two seconds quicker than team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was fifth fastest. Norris had long ago marked himself out as one of F1's brightest rising stars; this was just the final confirmation.
It was a pole won in the sort of conditions in which the best drivers always stand out, a qualifying session that started with a wet track that slowly dried throughout to the point that it was just about ready for untreated 'slick' tyres right at the end.
Norris was one of a number of drivers who came into the pits early enough to do two laps on slicks in the final minutes, to ensure they were up to the optimum temperature for the best performance - something that the Mercedes drivers conspicuously did not, to their detriment.
These are especially demanding circumstances, in which racing drivers are venturing into the unknown, and the tiniest mistake, a few centimetres off the one dry line, can lead to disaster. And Norris judged them to perfection.
"The difficult thing is that it is 10 of the best people in the world trying to put these laps in," Norris said, "so you can't just drive around under the limit and know what to expect.
"Sometimes you have to push it over and find out whether you've made it once you've gone through the corner.
The result was, in the admiring words of team-mate Ricciardo, "a very good lap - a great lap".