"It's a huge boost for me and the team, and it's because of all the hard work we have done," Hamilton reflected afterwards. "I am enjoying every step of the way.
“There’s still a long way to go this season, though, so we are staying humble, getting our heads down and working hard. I still have a bit more time to find from the car because it’s very, very close with Nico, so I have to keep working on that.
“But it’s a great feeling to be leading the championship.”
And as well as bolstering his bid for a second world title, Hamilton’s Spanish triumph has further improved his status in the sport’s record books. The victory was the 26th of his career, putting him just one shy of three-time world champion Jackie Stewart. Nigel Mansell currently has more race wins than any other British driver with 31, but given Hamilton’s dominance in 2014 he could comfortably overhaul that this year.
Should he take victory next time out in Monaco, Hamilton would also join a select group of drivers to win five races on the bounce. However, he’s still some way off Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine successive grand prix victories, which the German set last season.
Hamilton will look to further extend his winning streak later this month in Monaco. The Brit has not stood on the podium in the Principality since taking victory in 2008, on his way to a maiden world title.