Bottas said he felt a responsibility to the team after Hamilton's shock early exit.
As the reigning world champion Hamilton has the right to race under No.1 next year, but in line with his decision after his second and third world titles in 2014 and 2015, he will stick with No.44.
He was unhurt and is expected to start the race from the back of the grid.
Valtteri Bottas says he was determined to claim pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix because he wanted to "cheer everyone up" at Mercedes after members of the team were caught up in an armed robbery.
Formula One title holder Lewis Hamilton's first competitive action since winning the world championship lasted less than two minutes as he crashed out of qualifying for the race.
Hamilton turned in a fastest lap time of 1:09.202 - a new track record at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace - to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Bottas at the head of the field as both Ferrari and Red Bull struggled to put up any kind of fight in FP1.
"I have spoken with Tamas (Rohonyi, Brazil GP promoter) to know what can be done and I asked not to let people leave the autodrome without being safe", added Lauda.
Some six men with automatic guns ambushed Button and his team as he left the Interlagos circuit. "It is possible, Sebastian is leading me by 15 points, so we really need to have a strong race here and also in Abu Dhabi". "Still a bit shaky but it's a good feeling". The grip was there so I lost some time compared to the first run and then I managed to stay there. I had a great help from Bell and it was a bit of surprise. Thankfully though, no one from the crew was injured. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow".
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