Sir Stirling Moss has said new Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has earned his place among the sport's all-time greats.
Hamilton became the youngest man ever to claim the most prestigious crown in motorsport on Sunday, at the age of 23, with a nail-biting fifth-place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Briton was sixth - and standing behind race-winner Felipe Massa in the championship - with two corners to go, but sensationally overtook Timo Glock to take the title by a point.
And Moss told PA Sport: "It was absolutely staggering. I thought the whole race was terrific and I think the right man won, Massa deserved it, and Lewis won the world title in a tremendous finish."
Asked whether Hamilton deserved his achievement, the 79-year-old added: "Absolutely. He's tremendous on braking and he conserves his car, he's good in the wet, good in the dry. I think if you're talking about a man's ability to control a car, use a car, I think he's up there (with the best) now."
After Hamilton almost lost his grip on the title on the season's final day for a second successive year, Moss expressed delight that the youngster had avoided his fate.
Hamilton's chances looked to have vanished when he was brought in for a rain-enforced tyre change just laps from the finish.
Ultimately, it proved a wise move as the Briton passed Glock, severely lacking grip on dry tyres, at the death - but Moss suggested the last-lap panic could have been averted by McLaren with an earlier pit stop.
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