Mercedes team robbed at gunpoint in Brazil

Bottas ready to step up

Sebastian Vettel says he "chickened out" in qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix after Valtteri Bottas claimed pole on Saturday.

Hamilton had been due to line up 20th on the grid on Sunday, requiring approval from the stewards to race after technically failing to qualify for the race.

"I'm okay. It happened really quickly".

"In a few occasions, not as many as I would have wanted, I managed to be ahead of him", Bottas told Sky Sports News.

"It's very unusual from me but it shows we are all human and things happen".

Members of Lewis Hamilton's world-championship winning Mercedes team were robbed at gunpoint as they left the Interlagos circuit on Friday night.

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Vettel's Finnish teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, took third place in FP1, followed by the two Red Bull drivers - Dutchman Max Verstappen and Australia's Daniel Ricciardo - in the fourth and fifth slots, respectively.

The harrowing incidents - which are likely to raise security concerns ahead of the penultimate round of the season here in Brazil - mark the second time in a little more than 12 months a Mercedes' staff member has been robbed at gun point. However, Mercedes' tendency to turn up the power for their final flying laps could provide Hamilton and Bottas with the edge in Q3.

"I am still a bit shaken, but it is a good feeling". It was just a nice lap.

"I spoke with them this morning and I said we were going to put it on pole position and cheer everyone up, so I'm glad we did that", Bottas explained.

Retirement-bound local hero Felipe Massa of Williams was 10th. "I was happy with my vehicle today, but in my last run, I was perhaps a bit too shy in braking for the first corner".

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