Vettel, who claimed his third straight Drivers' Championship in Brazil last weekend, was present to collect the International Racing Driver of the Year award for the third year running.
Meanwhile, designer Adrian Newey was among Red Bull personnel on hand to receive the Racing Car of the Year award for the RB8.
The Milton Keynes team completed a hat-trick of constructors' titles in 2012 and had also won the Racing Car award in both 2010 and 2011.
Jenson Button won the British Competition Driver of the Year Award ahead of outgoing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Force India's Paul di Resta, Dario Franchitti (who won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time this year), World Touring Car champion Rob Huff and DTM racer Gary Paffett.
There was also a lifetime achievement award for Peter Sauber, who stepped down as team principal for his eponymous squad this year.
Sauber won the John Bolster Award together with former Lotus chief engineer Bob Dance while the FIA Medical Team won the Pioneering and Innovation Award.
The award was presented by 1996 world champion analyst Damon Hill to Susan Watkins, widow of Professor Sid Watkins.
Watkins, who oversaw major advancements in F1 safety over 26 years in his position as the FIA's Safety and Medical Delegate, died in September.
Formula Renault NEC champion Jake Dennis has also won a test with McLaren after winning the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award.
The 17-year-old also gets £100,000 and full membership of the British Racing Drivers' Club.