World champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out without posting a time at Interlagos, but Bottas ensured there would be a Mercedes at the front of the grid courtesy of a track record lap of one minute and 8.322 seconds.
When in São Paulo, F1 drivers travel to and from their hotels in bulletproof cars and a police escorts because of the risk of hold-ups around the Interlagos circuit.
"This is so upsetting to hear". One of the team had a gun held to their head, Hamilton said.
Bottas refused to be rattled by either Hamilton's accident or the searing speed of Sebastian Vettel, and he held off the Ferrari to top the session by the narrowest of margins - just 0.038s - and clinch the third pole of his F1 career.
Hamilton reacted to the incident on twitter and called on the FIA to review the safety procedures surrounding the event.
Record-breaking chill brings a taste of mid-January
A third record could also fall after the calendar flips to Saturday with an overnight low of 16 degrees forecast. Boston isn't the only part of the country experiencing cold, according to the weather service.
"Valuables were stolen, but all team members are safe and uninjured, which is the main thing", Lord said.
In a bid to avoid such issues, mechanics and team staff have been advised against wearing branded team clothing away from the circuit.
He further added, "This happens every single year here".
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.
A Mercedes team member was also robbed at gunpoint in Mexico past year while travelling by vehicle from the airport to his hotel. Button, who was travelling with his late father John, trainer Mike Collier and manager Richard Goddard, escaped unharmed.