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Vettel honoured by German nation
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Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Feb 2012   |  11:11 am GMT  |  34 comments

Sebastian Vettel has been honoured by his nation, Germany, in a ceremony in the capital Berlin. The double world champion travelled there on Wednesday after completing his two days test in Barcelona to receive the Silver Bay Laurel Leaf, a sports award issued by the office of the President.

According to Wikipedia, “The Silberne Lorbeerblatt (Silver Bay Laurel Leaf) is the highest sports award in Germany. It had been endowed on June 23, 1950 by the German President Theodor Heuss. To be honored with the Silberne Lorbeerblatt an athlete or a team has to be nominated by the president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation to the German President.

“The honoree also has to have an exemplary character.”

Vettel said, “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.”

The acting German president praised the 24 year old for his achievements in F1 while still remaining “down to Earth”.

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34 Comments
  1. Godfather says:

    He fully deserves it. He is a very good sportsman as well as a fine ambassador for F1. He deserves another WDC this year. I wish him all the best!

    1. Jack says:

      I hope he doesn’t win this year, but I do agree he probably deserves it, and really is a fantastic ambassador for F1, so right. His openness and friendliness towards the public and media should make drivers who act like Lewis buck up their ideas

  2. andrew roseblade says:

    Well done seb he really has earned this honour he has done a lot for his sport and country. He is like a breath of fresh air in F1 and i think he will go on wining GPs for a long time to come.

  3. Philip Jones says:

    James, do you know if Michael Schumacher won this award?

    1. David says:

      According to Wikipedia he won it in 1995 after the second of his world titles.

      1. efBir says:

        Then Germans wait for drivers to prove themselves by claiming second title, in case the first one could have been a one-off? Good thinking.

    2. Rob Newman says:

      Yes, in 1995.

    3. TobyS says:

      According to Wikipedia he did

    4. MichaelG says:

      Not James, but the Wikepedia article states Schumacher was honored with one.

      It appears only 12 German athletes have been honored (?), among them: Franz Beckenbauer, Steffi Graf, and Schumacher.

      Very august company.

  4. Kevin Green says:

    Certainly deserves it on the home front at least, he is certainly as driven as any driver ever has been and a great personality too in and around or out with the sport. Just got the time period to stamp exactly how good he is as a single figure in the sport come race day. I for one am still finding it hard to rate him exactly due to that team and that designer! Undoubtably top 6 of current drivers figured that much for sure so far :)

    1. hmm says:

      There always has to be a detractor using arguments against a driver that his own favorite would not pass too.

      Lemme guess, a Hamilton fan? He got beaten by Button while crashing into people left and right.

      Newey cars had not won a championship since 1999 until he started working with Vettel in 2009. A decade.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        What are you gibbering about??? and as for Hamilton far from a fan to be honest i do not believe he should be on the grid by any means for general personality issues on and off track day.

        As for newey think you will find the reason his talent is so noticeable now is that he has pretty much all control now with car design since joining Red Bull and as i said in prev posts he will be at Ferrari within 3 seasons from now mark my words the offer simply ain’t been big enough yet that’s a guy i reckon at some point in his career will be earning more money than any driver in the same season THAT is how big a figure he is in F1 its only more recently the height of his talent is really shining through!.

      2. Simon says:

        10 years! That’s a very-very long time.

        Newey’s story has a parallel in IT. Remember those brilliant talented people at Apple Inc wasting their time because of lack of direction and leadership. They were on the brink of bankruptcy when Steve Jobs came on board in the mid-90s & took them to insanely great heights.

        I am increasingly believing that a driver is not just a player, but also a leader, who surrounds himself with talented people and motivates them to bring out their best.

        Newey’s work perhaps will not be the same elsewhere after his stint at RBR, because every human being–no matter how brilliant–needs a motivator.

      3. Nathan says:

        I agree with Kevin Lewis is overrated and as to your point on adrian joining Ferrari I reckon he will, not just for the money they give him which will be huge I think he will want a new challenge and what a better time to do it than 2014 when the new regs start

      4. James Allen says:

        He is adamant he does not need or want to move to Italy.

      5. Kevin Green says:

        Another possible factor looking at Hamilton got to remember he was at Mclaren for a long time before breaking through you will note he done very well in the 1st 2 seasons in F1 something rings in my my mind about a driver being a Product with maybe a car designed about him to an extent for a period of time prior to his 1st season?? you will note the aero etc etc regulations radically changed for his 3rd season after winning the drivers crown?? just a though. As for Newey/Ferrari smokescreens I reckon He will be there.

      6. Dave Aston says:

        Great point; that Newey statistic was conveniently overlooked by all of Vettel’s detractors last year.

  5. Kevin says:

    Absolutly cheeky “I like to collect trophies…”. Vettel is a marvelous role model and such an ambassador for gen Y.
    Still I hope mark kicks his arse this year :)

  6. Jaime Andrew says:

    Congrats Sebastian, Try to secure third title.
    Latest reports about mercedes’ “new double-diffuser” and a passive f-duct ? http://thisisf1.com/2012/02/24/mercedes-hiding-new-double-diffuser-concept-reports/

  7. goferet says:

    Yeah congratulations to Vettel I guess this award is the equivalent of an OBE in England.

    But in my view since they have stressed that a sports man’s character is also taken into consideration, me thinks the Wunderkid is receiving this mainly because of his easy going nature.

    To be honest, the person that should receive this award more than anybody is Adrian Newey for am afraid to say, Vettel hasn’t yet won over the hard core racing fans.

    But for sure when it comes to character, Vettel is another Schumi, always seeing the sunny side of life for I recall in the first half of 2010 when his cars were breaking down left, right & centre, never did one hear a moan or complaint coming from the kid, he took it all in his stride.

    So yes congrats to Sebi.

    P.s.

    Am guessing the silver bay laurel leaf is some kind of trophy designed in shape of olive brand leaf

    1. David A says:

      Even if Vettel isn’t considered to be number one on the grid by some (for me it’s between him and Alonso only at the moment), he should have won over any fan who has watched him overperform in his days driving a midfield car and go on to win 2 titles, which only a handful of drivers have ever done. He deserves the award for his driving ability as well as his personality, end of story.

    2. Rodger says:

      “Vettel hasn’t yet won over the hard core racing fans”

      I’m a hard-core racing fan and he certainly has won me over, and every hard-core fan I speak to is the same.
      So sorry mate, but your statement is not true-you may need to qualify it better.

    3. Steve says:

      The ‘hard core’ racing fans will never be happy unless their particular team/driver of choice is the one doing the winning anyway.

  8. Miz_F1 says:

    Does anyone know if M Schumacher has won this award considering what he has acheieved.

    1. David A says:

      Yes, he’s got this too.

  9. Tx-2 says:

    This guy is the most humble driver and one of the most humble person I have ever known. It’s amazing how he does not let his success get to his head. He is better than all past and present drivers at the moment, even the likes of Senna, Prost et al except Schumi. I wish him a third WDC this season and many more in the future.

  10. Louis says:

    Congrats Sebastian! Back2back world championships combined with his outgoing and cheerful disposition,makes him a worthy person to be bestowed of such an honour.

  11. Kay says:

    Pfff….

    If M.Sch can win it, not surprised Vettel can.

  12. elie says:

    Yeah Congrats to Sebastian Very well deserved.He is a great driver and a great bloke from what I’ve seen on Telly, Top Gear, post race, etc. But he is not the ” best driver past or present”. I dislike MS for his dirty tactics..but he WAS better than Seb ever will be. As for Prost( absolute poetry in motion) and Senna. Still a bit early for people to say hes better than them.I think only Kimi is as good as Senna or Prost, Reliable car would have made him triple WC for sure!
    As for Lewis- hes faster than Jenson.He won same number of a races even in a bad year. I still think Jenson blocked him in Canada last year! Who wins in an outright fight on track almost always & quali,- WAKE UP boys.He just needs to get his head right and only he & fernando can stay close to Kimi in similar cars.EG SPA..

  13. Seifenkistler says:

    Somehow strange that the german sportsman with the most ‘awards”, german and british, never got the silver leaf. Probably poor Bert Trautmann never got it because he was never in the german national team. But except the leaves, he got a very nice collection

  14. Swede says:

    Yes, Seb is a great person and ambassador for the sport and must definitely be worth the german award. Just hope he won´t win the title at half-season this year …

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