Valtteri Bottas was disappointed to have only qualified on the second row of the grid after feeling he had the pace to “grab” pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Finn ended up third and 0.160s adrift of his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate and recently-crowned champion Lewis Hamilton in Brazil, while just 0.067s separated him from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in second.

“I’m not far away but here the margins are always small,” Bottas explained.

Singapore V4, F1,

“I knew today I had the pace to fight for pole. I think it was there for me to grab it but I couldn’t take it.”

Bottas, who claimed pole for last year’s race at Interlagos, believes he lost crucial time on the long drag up to the finish line in the final sector, which he put down to not receiving the benefit of a tow from a car ahead of him on-track.

“I was more than two tenths up by the last corner but I lost it all on the back straight without any tow. It was quite disappointing.”

The Mercedes driver could yet find himself starting on the front row, however, with Vettel under investigation for “destroying” the FIA weighbridge.

Hamilton could also be in trouble for blocking the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin during Q2, though the incident is not currently being looked at by the stewards.