Hamilton hails Leclerc, says he outperformed Vettel

Lewis Hamilton hailed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc following his maiden Formula One victory on Sunday.

Ferrari's Leclerc (R) celebrated his maiden F1 win by upstaging Mercedes duo Hamilton (L) and Valtteri Bottas at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton said Charles Leclerc is destined for greatness after continually outperforming Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel en route to his first Formula One victory.

Ferrari's Leclerc celebrated his maiden F1 win by upstaging Mercedes duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

On an emotional day at Spa, following the death of F2 driver Anthoine Hubert on Saturday, Leclerc started on pole and crossed the finish line first, with four-time world champion Vettel forced to settle for fourth.

Reigning F1 champion Hamilton, who sits 65 points clear atop the season's standings as he chases a sixth title, hailed 21-year-old Leclerc for achieving so much while driving for the same marque as Vettel.

Hamilton said: "I think his results speak for themselves really.

"It's not easy for any driver to jump into a top team, let alone Ferrari, against a four-time world champion, in the sport more than double… God knows how much more experience.

"And then to continuously, from race one, out-perform, out-qualify and out-drive a four-time world champion is not easy to do. So I think that speaks for itself.

"He's been really unlucky in quite a few races this year. Could easily have been the third win today. So, there's a lot more greatness to come from him and I'm looking forward to seeing his growth and racing alongside him.

"It was fun today, trying to chase him. He was just a little bit too quick."