After a slow start, dropping to third from his position on pole, Leclerc recovered superbly and seemed set for victory when disaster struck with ten laps remaining, with the issue leading him to lose 40km/h speed on his rivals.
This allowed Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to sweep past to claim dominance for the second race in a row, and the world champion admitted that his team had been fortunate.
He said to Martin Brundle on F1TV post-race: "Today was a really really hard job. This weekend the Ferrari has been incredible and Charles [Leclerc] did such a great job, I'm sure it's a devastating result for him as he did the job to win the race."
"We were definitely lucky today but you have to take it as it comes. I still gave it everything in the race and I pushed as hard as I could, and of course the fight that I had with Vettel was great fun for me."
Hamilton piled the pressure onto Vettel, leading the German to spin and surrender second spot, and the Brit explained how he was able to squeeze through.
"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."
Hamilton also took time to hug Leclerc as the drivers convened, telling Brundle, "This guy here [Leclerc], he's got a lot more wins coming in the future."
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