Sebastian Vettel labelled Lewis Hamilton as “the greatest of our era” and praised the Briton’s race-winning display at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Ferrari driver Vettel returned to the podium-paying positions in a thrilling encounter at Istanbul Park which was won by long-time rival Hamilton.
Hamilton, who held only sixth early on, stayed out on worn Intermediates, passing Sergio Perez for the lead, and claimed victory by over half a minute.
The win sealed a seventh world title for Hamilton – moving him level with Michael Schumacher atop the all-time list.
“I told him it’s very special for us because we can witness history being made today,” said Vettel.
“He is the greatest of our era for sure. I think it’s always difficult to compare. How can you possibly compare [Juan Manuel] Fangio, Stirling Moss to our generation? You can’t.
“Maybe we will be useless because we would be all s***ing ourselves in those cars!
“Maybe they’d be useless in our cars because they’re way too fast, who knows. It doesn’t matter.
“I think every driver has its driver or drivers, and Lewis is certainly the greatest of our era.
“To me certainly, emotionally Michael will always be the greatest driver but there’s no doubt Lewis is the greatest in terms of what he has achieved – he’s equalled the championships, he has more race won, he has a lot more pole positions. I think he’s done everything you can ask for.”
Vettel went on to praise Hamilton’s display in difficult conditions in Turkey.
“Today is the best proof, it’s a difficult race, a very difficult race to stay on track and two hours long, and probably if we’re honest it wasn’t his race to win and he still won it,” he said.
“I think once again he managed to pull out something special out of that bag and therefore he deserves everything he has achieved.”