Vettel was chosen by a 9-man jury, including motor racing journalists and members of the ADAC organization. The 4 votes he got for the title were enough to pass the other competitors for the prize, meaning 2-time DTM champion Timo Scheider and 11-time motorcycle world champion Gerd Riss.
Vettel has therefore become the second Formula One driver to win the ADAC Sportsman of the Year Award, following his predecessor Michael Schumacher. Other high-profiled sportsmen that were handed that distinction through the years were DTM champion Bernd Schneider, WRC champion Sebastien Loeb or world rally champion Walter Rohrl.
Vettel, however, is the youngest racing driver to win the award in the ADAC Motor Sportsman of the Year history (meaning in the last 29 years).
The 22-year old competed for Red Bull Racing in 2009, after switching from sister team Toro Rosso. In his very first season with Christian Horner's team, the German driver managed to win 4 races and secure another 4 podium finishes, keeping himself in the title hunt with 2 races remaining in the season. He eventually finished in second place, 11 points behind Brawn GP's Jenson Button.