Sebastian Vettel says it is "a big honour" to have been named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.

Having missed out to sprinter Usain Bolt in the same category last year, Vettel won the award after beating off competition from Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, Rafael Nadal and Mo Farah. In his acceptance speech in Kuala Lumpur, four-time world champion Vettel said he was honoured to receive the award and felt he was understanding just how inspirational sport can be for others.

"It's a big room, it's a big honour," Vettel said. "I think similar to many other sportsmen and women when I was a young kid, and I started competing, I fell in love with my sport and with racing. And fell in love with the fact that if you did well at the end of the race you win a trophy.

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"This one is very, very special. It's not the biggest one I have ever received, but it is one of the most special.

"If I learned anything tonight it is that sport surely can be a big inspiration. I think the idea to share that inspiration, especially with young kids, is one of the biggest things we can express."

Red Bull was also nominated in the Team of the Year category, but missed out for the second year in succession, this time to German football side Bayern Munich.