Britain's last world champion Damon Hill has paid tribute to Lewis Hamilton, who became the sport's youngest ever title-holder in a dramatic season finale in Brazil.
Hill, who won the world title in 1996 for Williams, said Hamilton now had the potential to become one of the greatest drivers to have emerged from the British Isles.
"Lewis is a tremendous talent, a great ambassador for British motor sport and possibly one of the greatest drivers we have had in this country," said Hill, now president of the BRDC, which owns British Grand Prix venue Silverstone.
"He has got a world championship in the bank and I think he is going to be difficult to stop from now on.
Hill, who watched the race at a promotional event at Silverstone, admitted that, just like many Hamilton fans in the UK and around the world, he was on edge of his seat as the McLaren driver slipped out of a title-winning fifth position with three laps to go at Interlagos.
"It was despair with two laps to go," he said. "We couldn't believe what we were watching because we thought 'how's it gone wrong at this late stage?' and then, on the last corner, [Timo] Glock was overtaken and we were suddenly back in the frame again.
"Poor Felipe Massa and Ferrari were up and down, everyone here was up and down - it was just a tremendously exciting race.
"The rain at the end seemed to throw Glock incredibly. Lewis at one point had got it wrong but actually it turned out to be Timo that had made the mistake.
"My congratulations to Lewis, Lewis's family and to McLaren - it is so good to be celebrating a British world champion."
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