Vettel receives prestigious award
Two-times reigning Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel received Germany's highest sports award, the Silver Bay Laurel Leaf, on Friday.
Vettel, 24, received the award from acting German President Horst Seehofer at a ceremony in Berlin.
"You may know that I like to collect trophies. The Silver Bay Laurel Leaf is something special you don't get every year, possibly only once in your life. This is a big honour," Vettel said.
Seehofer praised Vettel's "rapid career" and added: "You have shown that you have a strong character. Despite all the success you have remained down to earth."
Vettel, 24, became the youngest F1 champion in 2010 and the youngest to repeat last season. The only other German driver to get the award is record world champion Michael Schumacher.
The Red Bull driver Vettel came to Berlin from pre-season testing in Barcelona. The 2012 season starts on March 18 in Australia and Vettel will be aiming to become only the third driver to win three F1 titles in a row, the others being Juan Manuel Fangio and Schumacher.