The Finn, who has yet to win this year, gave up nearly certain victory to Hamilton at the Russian Grand Prix under team orders but Hamilton was insistent that Mercedes would not use them in Bottas's favour in Brazil.
Despite ruling out Red Bull's chances of victory on Thursday, Mexican Grand Prix victor Verstappen led the way on a 1m09.011s as he continued his run of impressive form having topped all three practice sessions at the last race.
Now Hamilton's fifth world title is secure, it has been suggested that he could give a victory back to Bottas if he finds himself leading his teammate on track.
"It is not always the case you find all the solutions", Hamilton said, "so I am confident everyone has worked as hard as they can to rectify it and push forward but it might take this race and even the next race before we fully understand it".
"I am not going to be here if it gets to 25 races, that's for sure".
"You start preparing for next year as soon as the season is done, so getting your mind tuned is very hard".
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To underline Ferrari's challenge, Vettel is the driver with the best current record in Brazil with three wins, including last year's race, and a determination to finish his season on a high. "That's very hard. Then you have to find a way of switching off and recovering at the same time".
Team-mate Bottas said Mercedes was now aware of the "mistakes" it has made that led to its Mexico disappointment.
In 2015, Nico Rosberg won the last three races, before Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas claimed a win each past year.
"I am someone that really loves racing, but the season is long, it takes a big commitment from all of us, and it is a long time away from our families". In the end, if you ask 10 people, they all have different views how it's been won or lost.
The one difference between FP1 and FP2 was that Red Bull was not within that margin, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen dropping slightly off the pace of the two teams still vying for the constructors' championship.
"The team are not going to make that call", replied the Briton.
"I still have a mission here and I still want to win - that hasn't changed", he said.