Ferrari's principal, Mattia Binotto, meanwhile confirmed that they would continue using the team orders which favoured Sebastian Vettel on Sunday in Shanghai, where Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix.
"To have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th Grand Prix".
"The start was really where I was able to make the difference and after that it was history", he said.
He is now just 16 victories short of Michael Schumacher's all time record tally of 91.
The decision led to Leclerc losing fourth place to Max Verstappen's Red Bull. Even when it became clear the silver cars had the edge around the 5.4-km long Shanghai circuit, it was Bottas who was leading the charge by taking pole ahead of Hamilton.
"I don't think it's frustrating", he added.
"Being in the vehicle, it was a bit frustrating, but on the other hand, I am well aware that in the auto you don't see much or the full picture of the race", Leclerc said. "I got some wheelspin as I went over the white line, the start/finish line, which is immediately after my [grid] box, so I lost it there".
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Vettel led the opening session, and was hot on Bottas' heels in the afternoon, while Leclerc had a hard day.
"Going back home the first priority will not be to handle this situation", he said.
"Let Sebastian by. Let Sebastian by", the team radio told Leclerc.
Both the 21-year-old Monegasque and Vettel are running a new electronic control package as a precaution against a repeat of Leclerc's engine problem. Exiting fifth between the Red Bulls, Leclerc was too far ahead of Gasly to worry, but too far behind Verstappen to fight for fourth, and settled into what is his lowest finish of the season so far.
"I saw (Verstappen) coming and the speed delta at the end of the straight is quite big now, so knowing Max as well, I knew that he will try. They have a good vehicle, Ferrari, it just does not look like they are extracting their full potential".
He admitted: "I think I lost it at the start, honestly, otherwise I was feeling okay and the pace was similar". But we tried to give space to Seb to see if he could keep the pace of the Mercedes. "It's just another race we're here to win".
Hamilton has 68 points after three races followed by Bottas (62), Verstappen (39), Vettel (37) and Leclerc (36).
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh, earning his first points of the 2019 Formula One season, but Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg didn't finish.