But then things finally started to get busy and Raikkonen sped to a 1:09.928 followed by a 1:09.646 and a 1:09.633 on the super soft tires.
"It is part of the growing progress and I have had a clean year with no crashes and I managed the car".
"This happens every single year here".
"It was fun", said Hamilton with a smile afterwards.
"I think it was a positive day for us".
Sergio Perez led the midfield runners in P6 for Force India ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso, with the Renault duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. following in eighth and ninth respectively. Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly followed in 17th ahead of Lance Stroll and Marcus Ericsson, with Hamilton propping up the order in P20.
"Racing is not just about how quick your car is, it's about getting around all the laps as fast as you can".
A spokesman for the 32-year-old Mercedes driver said on Monday that the deal was 'above board' and that 'the matter is now in the hands of his lawyers'.
Hamilton rekindled memories of his effort here in 2009, when he recovered from 17th to secure third.
Bottas said he felt a responsibility to the team after Hamilton's shock early exit.
Lewis Hamilton, who has already clinched the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, joined an elite list of drivers to have won the F1 title on more than three occasions. Before it felt so distant to get to 91 wins, and while it still feels a long way off, it is not impossible to think I could potentially get somewhere near'. Hartley lost radio contact and when it was restored was called back to the pits to retire when the car suffered high oil consumption.
"I'm okay. It happened really quickly".
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, meanwhile, hailed Hamilton's drive as "the best fourth-place finish I have ever seen". Thankfully though, no one from the crew was injured. Nevertheless it was really close, it was a tough one. Everything got sorted out with minutes to spare, although they were probably fortunate that they were not having to keep a more demonstrative driver happy, only the Finn of few words.
Grosjean was handed a 10 second penalty for causing the first lap collision with Ocon at turn six. "It will be an exciting, close race but we will be aiming to come out on top".
"Valtteri rose admirably to the challenge and did a great job".
Hamilton reacted to the incident on twitter and called on the FIA to review the safety procedures surrounding the event.
"Interlagos always serves up an exciting Grand Prix and we don't expect tomorrow to be any different".