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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel hailed Lewis Hamilton as the greatest of his era after the Mercedes driver celebrated his seventh Formula 1 title by winning the wet Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday.
The German quickly congratulated his British rival after Hamilton equaled a record seven Ferrari titles by Michael Schumacher and became the most successful driver in the history of the sport with unprecedented 94 victories.
“He drove fantastically well,” Vettel told Sky Sports F1 after Hamilton won from sixth position at the start in challenging wet conditions.
“Honestly, the podium is a good result for us, but today is his day if you make such a history. The first thoughts really go to him.
"It's a huge achievement. I am happy to be able to witness this first hand. ”
“I told him it was very special for us because today we can witness the making of history,” third-placed Vettel told reporters when asked what he told Hamilton after he got out of the car.
"He is certainly the greatest part of our era. I think it’s always hard to compare [periods] - how can you even compare [Juan Manuel] Fangi and Stirling Moss with our generation? You can not. We might be useless because we would all shit in those cars. Maybe they would be useless in our cars because they are too fast now. Who knows?
"It's not important. I think every age has its driver or drivers, and Lewis is the greatest in our era, ”continued the Ferrari driver, who won his titles at Red Bull from 2010 to ’13. And he hoped to add that number to Ferrari.
“For me, Michael will emotionally always be the greatest driver, but there is no doubt that Lewis is the greatest in terms of what he has achieved.
"He's tied in the championships, he's won more races, he's got a lot more pole positions."
Hamilton broke Schumacher's record of 92 victories with his 91nd victory in Portugal last month.
Vettel said Sunday’s race on a wet and slippery track that caught a multitude of drivers unprepared would be proof of Hamilton’s extraordinary talent.
“Probably if we’re being honest it wasn’t his race to win, and he still won,” said the German, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the year.
"Once again he managed to get something special out of that bag, and therefore, I think he deserves everything he has achieved."
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