That means it's now 12 pole starts in a row that the Monegasque driver has not been able to convert the advantage into a race victory.
Nevertheless, a brilliant last lap overtake on Red Bull's Sergio Perez gave him a well-deserved second place and awarded Ferrari three more vital points in their battle with Mercedes for second in the constructors' championship.
Now, as Ferrari head to Abu Dhabi for the season finale just four points behind Mercedes, Leclerc has mirrored his team boss Fred Vasseur by saying their performance in Sin City was the strongest of the season.
"I'm disappointed because the win could've been ours today," Leclerc told Sky Sport Italia.
"Unfortunately, we had a safety car, and we were unlucky. I don't always want to throw it on bad luck, but unfortunately, this is what it is today.
"I gave everything I had; I could've done anything else. At the same time, I'm happy because, as a team, we did a great job. It was the best Ferrari of the season in terms of race pace."
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