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Stirling Moss’s white helmet, his ten British Racing Driving Club Gold and his Monaco 1961 trophy are carried down the central Nave during a service of Thanksgiving for late British Formula One driver Stirling Moss at Westminster Abbey, central London, on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

London: Three-time Formula One world champion Jackie Stewart said there will never be another racer to compare to Stirling Moss as he paid tribute to the British motorsport great during a memorial service in London on Wednesday.

Four years after Moss’s death at the age of 90, a congregation of nearly 2,000 people, including former F1 world champions Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, as well as Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, attended Westminster Abbey to honour the celebrated driver.

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Former F1 driver Jackie Stewart and Elliot Moss stand near a vintage sports car formerly piloted by Sir Stirling Moss at a service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, London, Britain, on Wednesday. Image Credit: Reuters

Stewart, 84, said at the memorial: “There will never be another Stirling Moss.

“He drove well, he presented himself well, he dressed well and he was just an amazing character. I don’t think in the history of the sport there has been somebody so well loved and who has continued to be so well loved.

“It is wonderful for Great Britain to have a Briton that was as famous as this. He will never be forgotten.”

Moss never won the F1 world championship yet was widely regarded as one of the leading drivers of the 1950s and early 1960s at a time when racers competed across a wide variety of different events.

Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Italian racing giants, described Moss as the greatest driver in the world, while five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio said Moss was the best of his era.

Moss’s career ended in 1962 when he was cut out of his car following a 100-miles-per-hour (161-kilometres-per-hour) crash at the Goodwood circuit in southern England that almost killed him.

He tried to make a comeback but, believing he had lost his edge, retired from top-flight competition at the age of 32, having won a record 212 races from 529 starts during 15 seasons.

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Elliot Moss sits in a vintage sports car formerly piloted by Sir Stirling Moss at Westminster Abbey. Image Credit: Reuters

Perhaps his most famous success came in the 1955 Mille Miglia, where Moss covered 1,000 miles of open Italian roads at an average speed of 97.96mph in 10 hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds.

The Mercedes that carried him to victory in that race was on display outside Westminster Abbey on Wednesday.

For decades after his retirement, British policemen were said to have stopped speeding motorists with the words “Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?” — an experience that even extended to Stewart, F1 world champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973.

“I had just won the world championship and I was driving, late for something, and a policeman stopped me,” Scotsman Stewart told the congregation.

“I stopped, wound down the window, and he said, ‘Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?’ And I had just won the world championship.

“He asked to see my driver’s licence. I said I was Jackie Stewart and there was a smile on his face ... but I don’t ever think we will see this again, one man, who has been respected in such a fashion. I am tremendously proud I could call Stirling a friend.”