After being disqualified from Friday’s qualifying results due to a technical infringement on his Mercedes car, Hamilton battled his way from 20th on the grid to finish fifth in the sprint event on Saturday. 

Hamilton lined up 10th for Sunday’s grand prix after a five-place grid penalty for an engine change, but remarkably fought his way back through to win, passing title rival Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in the process. 

In total, Hamilton pulled off 25 overtakes over 95 laps across the weekend during his stunning back-to-front charge to take one of his greatest ever victories. 

However, detractors were quick to argue Hamilton’s victory was only made possible due to his car boasting a fresh engine and superior straight-line speed. 

While Leclerc acknowledged Hamilton does have one of the strongest cars on the grid, he does not believe that should take away from his performance in Brazil. 

“Of course, Lewis, Mercedes and Red Bull have a strong car at the moment but what Lewis has shown this weekend, I think is going over what a car can give,” Leclerc said. 

“He has done a really impressive performance. Fair play to him to win after everything that happened to him this weekend, it is a great achievement. 

“And I think that should be seen outside of the car performance. I think he just did a great job.” 

Carlos Sainz agreed with his Ferrar teammate, pointing out that such a result could only have been achieved with the perfect combination of a great car and a great driver.  

“I keep seeing these debates on social media and everywhere and I keep wondering why can it not be the two things,” Sainz added. 

“I think it was the combination of a great driver, a great talented guy, that was inspired in combination with a car that this weekend was very dominant.”