The country's motor sport federation Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) has decided that new DTM champion Martin Tomczyk is more deserving of the motor sportsman of the year title.
After a decade of trying, 29-year-old Tomczyk this year won the German touring car series despite being demoted to an older Audi.
"At the beginning of the season nobody counted on me," he said.
F1's youngest ever back to back world champion Vettel ranked only third in ADAC's deliberations, also behind teenage motocross champion Ken Roczen.
The ADAC sport president is Tomczyk's father Hermann.