• IN WORDS: Lewis & Valtteri's France Debrief

Lewis and Valtteri talk records and first lap clashes after the French GP

'Crazy how life works'

Lewis broke a new record in France, scoring his 23rd win in a different country - surpassing Michael Schumacher's tally.

"I didn't know that. It's news to me," Lewis said, when informed of the record. "Every time I'm told of these records I'm blown away by Michael even more.

"He obviously had a long career and incredible statistics... it just brings me back to watching him as a kid.

"I was actually just sitting here thinking, and I don't know if Kimi knows, I remember growing up wanting to be in F1 and obviously I was at McLaren since I was 13.

"I used to play F1 on the PlayStation all the time and I was always Kimi, which is kind of crazy. I wasn't [Juan Pablo] Montoya, I was always Kimi in his car and I always wanted to race against him.

"It's just crazy how life works and how you get the opportunity to work with some of these legends."

'Everything was lost in Turn 1'

It was a difficult race for Valtteri after he was hit by Sebastian Vettel at the first corner, which punctured his left-rear tyre and prompted an early stop.

He lined up for the restart in P18, last place, but put in a strong recovery drive with a damaged car to claim P7.

"I was on the outside into Turn 1, braked quite late and left some room for him on the inside," he explained.

"I knew keeping that line would give me the inside for Turn 2, but then suddenly I was hit from behind. It's definitely a shame, we had a strong car as Lewis showed.

"After the hit from Sebastian, the car was quite damaged. Everything was lost in Turn 1 with that damage and the puncture.

"There was quite a lot of damage to the floor, which made it very difficult to come back through. But, at least we managed to get some points."

'Positioning is everything'

France makes up the first round of F1's triple-header, with Austria next up. Lewis believes the W09 should fare well at the Red Bull Ring, but expects qualifying to be crucial.

"I think Austria should be a fairly decent track," he said. "It's been a decent track for us in the past, so I don't see why it should be any different now.

"The Red Bulls have been particularly quick there in the past because it's quite a good downforce circuit, so it'll be interesting.

"It's great that we are close in qualifying nowadays but positioning is everything, really. At that track you can't really overtake. Even though you've got those long straights, it's very, very difficult to overtake. You can't follow through Turn 1."

'Not sure whether to laugh or cry'

Lewis' pace and run to victory has proved the updates worked well on the W09, but also emphasised what a missed opportunity the French GP was for Valtteri.

"It sums up my season so far, I think," the Finn admitted. "It was not my day, it's about time my luck turned.

"I will keep doing what I'm doing. I'm not sure if I should cry or laugh about this race, maybe I should just laugh.

"This weekend we were good. We need to see next weekend, at a different track, but for sure we are back in the fight for wins.

"There's no reason in the next few races why we shouldn't still be there. But, we need to see race by race and keep improving the car."