Sebastian Vettel added yet another award to his bulging trophy cabinet when he was crowned BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night.
The German world champion was recognised for his record-breaking season that saw him become the youngest ever four-time world champion and equal Alberto Ascari’s previously thought unbreakable record of nine straight victories.
Unlike the main award, the overseas personality is not voted for by the public but is decided by an expert panel based on the criteria of “the foreign sportsman or woman who has made the greatest impression in the world of sport this year,” as outlined on BBC Sport.
"Thank you very much for the award," Vettel told BBC Sport. "It's something very special if I look at the list of previous winners. It's been a fantastic year."
In receiving the prestigious award, Vettel joins the likes of countryman Michael Schumacher, Roger Federer and Usain Bolt.
He hasn’t been everyone’s cup of tea during a 2013 season that saw him clash with Mark Webber after disobeying team orders in Malaysia and was booed by spectators during a number of podium ceremonies this season, notably in Canada, Belgium and Italy.
As Michael Schumacher proved before him, dominating a sport in such a comprehensive fashion doesn’t always win you fans.But whilst Schumacher often came across as cold and calculated with his ruthless "win at all costs" attitude, Vettel seems a more fitting recipient of an award that has the word "personality" at its forefront.
It is not Vettel’s fault that he has swatted the competition aside in such a dominant fashion and although he has been quick to laugh off the boo boys, he admitted on BBC Sport that the reception he has received at times has hurt him.
"It's very difficult for me personally, to receive boos, even though you haven't done anything wrong," he said. At the time it hurts not to get the reception you expect but I think I'm clever enough to understand why they do it. I'm not blaming them. To overcome it, to give the right answer on the track and finally get the acceptance we're all looking for as racing drivers… it make me very proud to join people like (Alain) Prost, (Juan Manuel) Fangio and Michael (Schumacher as a four-time world champion)".
Nor can anybody accuse Vettel of not wearing his heart on his sleeve, as his exuberant victory celebrations have demonstrated.
A self-confessed fan of The Beatles, Little Britain and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Vettel is as far removed from the Germanic stereotype as you could imagine.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Usain Bolt are tough acts to follow and Vettel was up against some stiff opposition for this year’s award, but for his outstanding achievements and the way he has carried himself there could only be one deserving winner.
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