The German driver fended off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal and LeBron James to clinch the award, following in the footsteps of two-time winner Michael Schumacher who won in 2002 and 2004.
Vettel enjoyed his most successful season in Formula 1 last year, winning thirteen races (including nine-in-a-row) as he swept away the competition to claim his fourth drivers’ championship at the Indian Grand Prix in October.
Upon claiming the award, Vettel said: “It is one of the most special I have received.”
The Laureus Sports Awards is widely considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of the sporting world, with this year’s event being hosted by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.
There was further success in the motorsport world as Moto GP champion Marc Marquez won the “Breakthrough of the Year” award, which has also been won by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in the past.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.