Events on lap 25, when Mercedes instructed the Finn to move over for his team mate, followed by the later instruction that they should maintain station had undoubtedly left its mark.
"I think I've said many times that we have a strong vehicle, but I don't think, against the people's opinions, that we had a dominant auto at any point this year", the German said.
"It could definitely happen again", Bottas said.
"You attack every weekend, every weekend is different, the track is different and the circumstances are different, so I am very happy to be here".
Lewis Hamilton had a lot of sympathy for Bottas as well as he was seen consoling his teammate after the race and at the podium.
"We have a strong auto but I don't think, against people's opinions, that we had a dominant vehicle at any point this year", Vettel said.
Although Vettel trails Hamilton by 50 points in the drivers' championship with just five races left this season, he denied that this Sunday presents his last chance to dent the Briton's lead and mount a realistic title challenge. However, I reckon the German team's decision was the right one. I can not fight for the championship anymore, Lewis is, I'm a team player and I'm willing to help.
"I think definitely I am still allowed to win, [but] it will depend on the situation". Before the race however it had been made clear to Bottas that he may be required to sacrifice himself given the intensity of the championship battle with Ferrari and Vettel.
"The way they will do that is that they will stop one vehicle, which means that I will have to stop. I remember watching it with Michael (Schumacher) and Rubens (Barrichello)", he added, a reference to the infamous 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when Barrichello moved over to hand victory to his Ferrari team-mate on the run to the chequered flag, despite it being only the sixth race of the year and the German already having won four of the first five races.
Although Bottas did not cross the line in first position, he said he still felt like a race victor.
"I love the track, this is my favourite track in the world, so I better enjoy it and not spoil it by starting to count things that probably are against me and focus on the things that are working for me".
Vettel had an even fruitier reaction on the subject of DRS (drag reduction system) in Formula One - and whether Suzuka should have more than just one zone where drivers can push the go-faster button.
"Honestly, I think that, last weekend, if Lewis didn't have the blister, if he didn't have that much pressure from Sebastian, maybe the team would have not done it", he insisted.
Ferrari have enjoyed the superior machinery over Mercedes for much of the campaign, but the Italian team were a distant second to their rivals in Russian Federation last weekend.
"We have made progress - the steps that were planned were the steps that came". Sounds like "now or never" to us.