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Damon Hill hails Moss as F1 'great' despite lack of world title

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London (AFP)

Damon Hill insisted on Monday that Stirling Moss ranks among Formula One's greatest-ever drivers even though he never won the world championship title.

Moss died on Sunday aged 90 following a long illness and tributes have poured in from around the F1 world.

The British racer was regarded as the finest driver of his era by no lesser an authority than Juan Manuel Fangio.

Fangio pipped Moss to the F1 crown three times between 1955 and 1957 and won five world titles.

England's Hill, who won the F1 crown in 1996, is also adamant Moss deserves to be placed in that hallowed company.

"He's right up there with the great names. He's up there with (Jim) Clark and with Fangio and with (Jackie) Stewart and (Lewis) Hamilton and Niki Lauda and people like that," Hill told the BBC on Monday.

"I don't think anybody regarded him as anything less than one of the greats."

Moss was runner-up in the world title race four times and finished third on three occasions in a career during which he won 16 Grand Prix races.

In an age when racing drivers competed in several different disciplines alongside F1, Moss won a total of 212 of the 529 races he entered in his career.

Hill, whose father Graham raced against Moss during the late 1950s and early 1960s, admitted Moss' inability to be crowned world champion may have rankled but added it does not affect his standing.

"I'm sure it was a disappointment to him but he was so stoic, he was brought up to believe in taking it on the chin and I think he very much covered that up," he said.

"But as far as every driver who knows anything about the sport and all the people who follow motorsport is concerned, and the British public, we regarded him as a great champion.

"Everyone regarded him as 'the man' frankly, he was the forerunner and one of the biggest names in the sport."

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