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Kuratle: No Decision on Potential Vettel Porsche Le Mans Drive

Porsche LMDh director says decision not yet taken on possibility of Vettel Le Mans drive…

Photo: Porsche

A decision has not yet been taken by Porsche on whether the German manufacturer will draft Sebastian Vettel into its lineup for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans according to Porsche’s LMDh factory director Urs Kurtale.

The four-time Formula 1 world champion was part of Porsche Penske Motorsport’s pre-Le Mans endurance test at Motorland Aragon last month, logging more than 300 miles behind the wheel of the No. 5 Porsche 963 that was shared by its FIA World Endurance Championship drivers.

“He did really well,” Kuratle told invited reporters during a media event at Porsche Penske’s European headquarters in Mannheim, Germany on Tuesday. “He did this rollout in Weissach before and then he did these couple of outings during the test.

“It’s not sure what [will] happen now. As what was stated in the press release is also the reality, as is always the case. This time it really is!”

Vettel’s test with Porsche has also sparked media reports that the 36-year-old could also be eying a return to F1.

“He’s talking to different people as well. As we read in the press, we read it from the press as well,” Kuratle said.

“It’s nothing decided at all what he’s doing, when he’s driving, if he’s driving in the future for us. That’s something that will come out in the next couple of days or even weeks.

“There’s not even a date set when there is a decision of what and how and where he wants to drive.”

So far, only Mathieu Jaminet has been confirmed in the No. 4 Porsche that will join the two full-season WEC entries in the French endurance classic.

Kuratle said the lineup for the third Porsche will need to be confirmed to the ACO by May 19, leaving some time to finalize its driving squad.

“We always look to the best solution, the best possible solution for the company, for the team and there’s a lot of drivers we have,” Kuratle added.

“But we are in a luck situation that have the best.

“I personally believe we have the ten best drivers in the sports car environment. That’s more than enough to have three cars in Le Mans.”

When asked by Sportscar365 on how the connection with Vettel came about, Kuratle said: “People know each other, they talk to each other and at one point it came up that it could be a possibility. Why not? We can try.

“But that was the rollout, the test, just to see, as Sebastian also said, to see how this environment is, how the people are, how sports car racing is.

“He wanted to feel the car and he got the feel from the car. Now the future is wide open.”

Davey Euwema contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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