Hamilton sympathises with Leclerc & concedes Bahrain win was 'definitely lucky'

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Lewis Hamilton conceded his victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix was "definitely lucky" as he sympathised with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Mercedes recorded a one-two for the second consecutive race, but only after Leclerc suffered an engine problem while leading with 11 laps left, meaning he lost power and was passed by Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Ferrari had set the pace throughout practice and qualifying, where they locked out the front row, and the race winner acknowledged that dominance after his latest triumph, which moves him a point behind Bottas in the early championship standings.

"It was a really, really hard job this weekend, the Ferraris have been incredible," said Hamilton after a race that finished under a safety car, which helped Leclerc at least claim a podium spot.

"I had to see Charles because he has done a great job and I'm sure it is a devastating result for him obviously because he had done the job to win the race. 

"This guy here has got lots more wins coming in the future, so big congratulations to him.

"We were definitely lucky but you have to take it as it comes and ultimately I still gave it everything in the race and I pushed as hard as I could."

Hamilton continued his praise of Leclerc in a conversation with the 21-year-old as they waited for the podium ceremony, saying: "You drove great. You've got a great future ahead of you."

The defending world champion, who qualified third, had dropped to fourth in the early stages before working his way back up the field.

He was second after the first pit stops, before losing the place to Sebastien Vettel as he struggled on soft tyres, describing himself as a "sitting duck" on team radio.

But he tussled with Vettel after the second pit stops and overtook his rival, who subsequently span and lost his front wing, the German having to recover just to salvage a fifth-placed finish behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Hamilton added: "The fight with Vettel was obviously great fun for me. 

"You look at that big flag on top of that tower, there is a massive headwind going in to 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.

"This is a great result for the team considering how hard the race was."