Ex-Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve says Valtteri Bottas’ performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix was nothing short of “embarrassing”.

Bottas, who started from his third pole position of the season, lost out to the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel at the first corner – a position he would struggle to reclaim.

Despite almost jumping the German through the pitstops, the Finn couldn’t find his way past and finished in second position just 2.7 seconds off Vettel.

However, team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who started from the pitlane following a crash in qualifying, scythed his way through pack to finish fourth and only 2.7s behind Bottas after the 71-lap event.

1997 world champion Villeneuve was quick to criticise the performance by the Mercedes driver, believing Bottas performed at the level of a “number two” driver on Sunday.

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“It was a great drive from Vettel, he won it at the start,” Villeneuve told Motorsport.com. “He was aggressive.

“When you see what the Mercedes was capable of, you just have to look at Lewis and Bottas wasn’t up to pace. It’s embarrassing for Bottas.

“Lewis finished around three seconds behind him when he started from the pits.

“It’s embarrassing. He simply is not on the pace of Hamilton. It’s been like that all year. That’s his level. Which is a good number two.”