Lewis Hamilton shows his class with encouragement to Leclerc after Bahrain GP

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix after an engine problem hit runaway leader Charles Leclerc's Ferrari late in the race.

Leclerc had got off to a poor start but reacted well, retook the lead quickly and looked on course for a maiden victory when his hybrid system failed.

British driver Hamilton closed an eight-second deficit within three laps as he claimed his first win of 2019 with nine laps to go.

"Today was a really, really hard job and the team were incredible. It was a devastating race for Charles,” Hamilton said.

"We were lucky today. I gave it everything in the race. [Leclerc] has a lot of race wins coming in the future."

It was a bitter blow for Leclerc, who thoroughly deserved the win. He had started from pole position, but a poor start meant he dropped behind Vettel and Bottas on the first lap.

However, he passed Bottas at the start of the second lap and then Vettel on lap four, and proceeded to underline his superiority over his teammate by cruising off into a comfortable lead in the race.

AUTO-F1-PRIX-BAHRAIN

Immediately after the race, Hamilton praised Leclerc with some encouraging words in the cool room where the Brit sympathised with the disappointed Ferrari driver.

“You drove fantastically this weekend.”

“You have a long future ahead of you, this one will suck but you have a long way to go.”

As Hamilton overtook Leclerc, he waved when passing his competitor as a gesture almost like he was apologising for what unfolded on the track. He himself has been in tough situations as the British driver knows what Leclerc would be thinking.

“That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove such a great race.”

“We’ve got work to do, to try and keep these guys in our tails.”

Both Hamilton and Leclerc will look to the next race the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks’ time which will be the 1,000th race in F1 history.

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