Starting from second on the grid, Bottas got into the lead into the first corner as he benefitted from the softer rubber, while Max Verstappen struggled to get his mediums up to temperature, dropping behind Carlos Sainz.

Verstappen closed down Bottas in the closing laps but the Finn resisted the pressure to secure his third pole position in four rounds.

Bottas credited the decision to start on softs as it was the best way to beat Verstappen to pole at Interlagos.

“It was a good one, everything worked as we planned,” Bottas said. “We opted to start with the soft tyre because we knew that the best chance to get the lead today was at the start even if that would make the end of the race very tricky. But it worked perfectly.

“It wasn’t easy until the end, definitively the tyres started to be pretty finished, so it was just avoiding mistakes and trying to keep the focus. Today was a good day.

“I’m also pleased Lewis managed to up to fifth place, so that means there will be plenty of opportunities for tomorrow and we can still, even with the issues this weekend, have a great result tomorrow.”

Bottas revealed that he had to preserve his tyres from the early stages to ensure he had enough rubber left to defend from Verstappen.

“I was just focusing on doing the fastest stint I could and that means managing the soft tyres,” Bottas explained. 

“Especially at the beginning I was trying to create a gap but without killing the tyres immediately and then I was just trying to optimize the pace but there was quite a bit of management with the soft tyres today, especially in certain parts of the track.

“Towards the end I just tried to squeeze out every single bit I had of the tyre.”

Looking ahead to the grand prix, Bottas feels that he’s in a good position to fight for the win.

“Obviously starting from the pole, hoping to keep the lead and go from there,” he added. “Tomorrow will be pretty open in terms of strategy for every team, we can start with whatever tyre and we’re going to try and make the best plan we can.”