Four-time F1 world champion Vettel to test Porsche’s Le Mans hypercar

Vettel will take the wheel of the 963, which Porsche runs in collaboration with American powerhouse Penske, at a 36-hour test at MotorLand Aragon in Spain.

The 36-year-old German has already turned his first laps of the prototype at Porsche’s Weissach base following extensive simulator running.

“I’m looking forward to testing the Porsche 963. I already got the chance to get a feel for the car during a rollout in Weissach,” said Vettel.

“I’ve always followed other racing series and my curiosity for endurance events encouraged me to just give it a shot. Now I’m excited about the long run in Aragon and I’m looking forward to my time behind the wheel.

«It’ll definitely take an adjustment and some getting used to but everyone in the team is very open and helps me. This will be a new experience for me.»

Sebastian Vettel tests the Porsche 963

Sebastian Vettel tests the Porsche 963

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

Porsche Motorsport vice president Thomas Laudenbach revealed Vettel had asked him if there was an opportunity to join a test, with Porsche more than happy to accommodate him.

“We’re delighted that Sebastian Vettel is interested in our Porsche 963,” explained Laudenbach.

“There was no question for us that we’d be thrilled to support his request for an opportunity to test and provide him with extensive preparation and plenty of time to drive our hybrid prototype.»

Vettel, who called time on his F1 career at the end of 2022, is known to have been in preliminary talks with Porsche customer team Jota last year over driving one of its 963 prototypes in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

But while endurance racing appears to be an option that piques Vettel’s interest, the German stressed he has «no further plans» as things stand.

«We will see what happens next in this respect – at the moment there are no further plans for the future,» he specified.

Vettel will join a planned 36-hour endurance test at Aragon’s popular testing venue with six of Porsche Penske’s works drivers as it gears up for June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team recently took its first victory in WEC’s hypercar era at the opening round in Qatar with Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre.

It will add a third car to the works line-up for Le Mans to boost its chances of a first overall win in the French endurance classic since 2017.

Since its introduction last year, the Porsche 963 has also found success in America’s IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, taking three wins in 2023 as well as a victory at the Daytona 24 Hours early this year.

Sebastian Vettel tests the Porsche 963

Sebastian Vettel tests the Porsche 963

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

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