Sebastian Vettel, the youngest four-time Formula 1 world champion in history at 26, was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, US swimmer Missy Franklin, at 18, became the youngest ever winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, while Spain’s Marc Márquez received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, after winning the World MotoGP Championship at just 20 years and 266 days.
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was named world sportsman of the year in both 2002 and 2004, whilst Juan Pablo Montoya, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are all previous recipients of the Laureus ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ prize, winning in 2002, 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Vettel’s success was particularly satisfying for the young German racer, who had been nominated five times for a Laureus Award, before finally winning. His fourth straight World Championship in 2013 saw him join motor racing legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, who all won at least four times, but he did it more quickly than them – at just 26 years and 116 days.
Images © Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus