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Vettel Completes Aragon Test in Penske Porsche 963

Four-time F1 world champion turns 118 laps at the wheel of Porsche 963 at Aragon…

Photo: Juergen Tap/Porsche

Sebastian Vettel completed his first significant laps behind the wheel of the Porsche 963 LMDh car during Porsche Penske Motorsport’s endurance test at Motorland Aragon.

The four-time Formula 1 world champion took to the track behind the wheel of the No. 5 car, which is shared in the FIA World Endurance Championship by Matt Campbell, Fred Makowiecki and Michael Christensen.

All three drivers were on hand at Aragon, along with Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Andre Lotterer.

Vettel, meanwhile, completed two double stints behind the wheel of the Multimatic-chassised prototype, turning 118 laps and covering 581 kilometers “without any problems” according to Porsche.

“Of course, I also keep an eye on other motorsport disciplines and know many drivers who are active in the WEC and Le Mans,” said Vettel.

“At some point, my curiosity was so great that I had the idea of trying it out myself. Porsche gave me the opportunity to test a current hypercar with the 963. After the seat adjustment, the simulator session and the roll-out in Weissach, I already had a good feeling.

“Driving the Porsche 963 on the track here in Aragon – that was definitely fun. I first had to get used to everything and find my rhythm.

“The driving experience is different simply because of the roof over your head, as well as dealing with the higher weight and the tyres.

“The Porsche works drivers were very helpful and explained to me what was special and what I needed to get used to. That made it easy for me.”

In addition to Vettel, reigning DTM champion Thomas Preining will also join Porsche at the test at Aragon, having previously driven the car both at Sebring and at last year’s WEC rookie test in Bahrain.

“Aragon is one of the few places in Europe where we can run around the clock and gives us an opportunity to run 36 hours straight in preparation for Le Mans,” said Porsche Penske Motorsport managing director Jonathan Diuguid.

“Having Sebastian Vettel here is a unique opportunity for the team. He is a four time Formula 1 World Champion. He has massive experience with hybrid systems and high performance racing cars.

“Having his fresh unique perspective on where the car is and gives feedback on our systems and performances is a unique opportunity. We are happy to have him here. He came out of the car with a smile which is all good.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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