Hamilton inherited victory in Sakhir as a cylinder on Leclerc's engine stopped working with 12 laps to go. When Hamilton passed the Ferrari youngster, he raised what appeared to be an apologetic hand. The reigning world champion was hugely complimentary of Leclerc after the race.
"Ultimately you want to pass someone because you're quicker than them and it's been a fight," Hamilton said afterwards. "I went past Charles on the back straight and I raised my hand to him because there was nothing I could do, I didn't have any problems.
"It feels weird and honestly you can't believe your luck in that scenario, but what can you do? You can't deny yourself, you just have to keep doing what you do. I've been in positions like that before, where you've been in the lead and the car has stopped, so I know how it feels."
After the race, Hamilton offered some words of encouragement to Leclerc, 21, who had claimed a maiden pole position on Saturday and looked set to claim his first Formula One win. Hamilton won his first race at 22 years old and his first championship a season later, and he has predicted that Leclerc has many wins ahead of him.
Hamilton told Leclerc he can take comfort in the fact he comprehensively out-performed his Ferrari teammate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
"It's always good to look at the glass half-full. Even though he had that problem and he was an outlier all weekend - even to his team-mate, he was so much faster than his team-mate all weekend.
"He has so many positives to take from it and we have a lot of work to do to try and keep up with him."