For the majority of the Bahrain Grand Prix, it appeared Hamilton would be finishing behind a Ferrari 1-2 under the floodlights in the Sakhir desert.
But, after seeing off Sebastian Vettel, who made another mistake in wheel-to-wheel combat, Hamilton was then able to cruise past Leclerc who unfortunately had engine problems in the last moments of a dramatic race.
The reigning World Champion would lead a Mercedes 1-2 to the chequered flag with Leclerc able to cling on to the final podium spot thanks to a late Safety Car.
And Hamilton was quick to praise Leclerc, who would have undoubtedly been a worthy winner.
“This weekend the Ferraris have been incredible,” Hamilton said.
“I had to go and see Charles, he did such a great job, he had done the job to win the race. He deserved to win.
“It’s a great result for the team, considering how hard the race was. But this guy here, [Leclerc] has lots more wins coming in the future.”
“Charles truly deserved this race…” 👏
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 31, 2019
Hamilton also reflected on his battle with Vettel and, like the German, he too said the wind was definitely a contributing factor.
“We were definitely lucky today but we have to take it as it comes,” added the Brit.
“I still gave it everything in the race, I pushed as hard as I could. Obviously the fight I had with Vettel was great fun for me.
“If you look at that big flag on top of that tower there’s a massive headwind into turn four, so I just gave it everything, I braked later than usual and dove down the outside.
“I don’t think we touched or anything like that, and this is a great result for the team considering how hard the race was.”
The move that put @LewisHamilton in a winning position 🔀
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 31, 2019
Hamilton concluded by telling Leclerc to focus on the positives, the main one being that he outpaced his team-mate Vettel for much of the weekend.
“It’s always good to look at the glass half-full because today’s got some great points even though they had that problem,” said Hamilton.
“He was an outlier all weekend. Even to his team mate he was so much faster than his team mate all weekend.
“He’s got so many positives to take from it and we have a lot of work to do to try and keep up with him.”