Bottas made a sluggish start from pole position, giving Max Verstappen the inside of the corner into Turn 1.

The Finn tried to hang it around the outside of Verstappen meaning he was forced to take to the grass at the Senna S, compromising his exit and run down to Turn 4.

This allowed Sergio Perez to get through for second and it wasn’t too long until teammate Lewis Hamilton was behind him, letting him through on Lap 5.

Reflecting on his start at Interlagos, Bottas said: “Max made a great start but mine was also pretty average. I was hoping that would be enough to maintain the lead, but he was ahead of me going into Turn 1.

“My issue was there was too much clutch slip, so I lost a bit of grip and didn’t drive off as good as it should. Then in Turn 1, I tried to brake as late as I could but Max fought hard and I was off track at some point. But, like I said, he was already ahead so there wasn’t much to do.

“Then, getting out of shape in Turn 3 cost me on the run down to Turn 4, ran a bit wide there, defending, so, for me, lap one was a bit of nightmare because this morning one person after another kept telling me what to do in the first lap and how important it was for me to stay ahead.”

Bottas benefitted from a timely Virtual Safety Car period to get back ahead of Perez, finishing the race in third just under three seconds behind Verstappen in second.

With Hamilton winning the race, Mercedes was able to extend its lead in the constructors’ championship to 11 points with three rounds to go, leaving Bottas satisfied with the end result.

“Obviously, I didn’t give up, I kept pushing and I have to say it was so good to see Lewis win this race from where he started, he added. “He was on his own league today, on this weekend and did a better job.

“I didn’t give up, kept pushing and still managed to get to the podium and that’s good, it means that we got more points than Red Bull and that’s something.”