Lewis Hamilton won the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award for 2008 here on Monday.
The 22-year-old British driver, in what was his rookie season, led the Formula One championship for much of the way and only lost out to Kimi Raikkonen in the closing Brazil Grand Prix.
He won four Grands Prix, the most ever in a debut season.
List of Laureus Award Winners
Sportsman of the Year
Roger Federer, Switzerland, tennis
Sportswoman of the Year
Justine Henin, Belgium, tennis
Team of the Year
South Africa, rugby union
Comeback of the Year
Paula Radcliffe, Britain, athletics
Breakthrough of the Year
Lewis Hamilton, Britain, auto racing
Action Sportsperson of the Year
Shaun White, United States, skateboarding
Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Esther Vergeer, Netherlands, wheelchair tennis