Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Vettel to Test Penske Porsche 963 at Aragon

Four-time F1 world champion joins Porsche Penske Motorsport at Aragon for 36-hour test…

Photo: Porsche

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will join Porsche Penske Motorsport for an upcoming 36-hour endurance test at the Motorland Aragon circuit.

Vettel will join factory drivers Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Fred Makowiecki, Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor to pilot the Porsche 963 at the Spanish circuit next week, with the test serving as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

The German driver was previously linked with a race seat as part of Hertz Team JOTA’s two-car customer Porsche effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship, although that never came to fruition.

Vettel, who bowed out of F1 at the end of the 2022 season, scored 53 Grand Prix victories and four world championships through a highly successful career that saw him race for BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

The 36-year-old has already completed a preparation program ahead of the test, both at Porsche Penske’s Mannheim headquarters and the in-house test track at Weissach.

This included an extensive simulator session, while he turned his first laps at the wheel of the Multimatic-chassised prototype on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to testing the Porsche 963,” said Vettel.

“I already got the chance to get a feel for the car during a rollout in Weissach. 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 Aragón 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. We will then see what happens next in this respect – at the moment there are no further plans for the future.”

Porsche has yet to reveal the lineup for its third factory-entered Hypercar at Le Mans, with Mathieu Jaminet currently the only confirmed driver.

Porsche Motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach previously said that the manufacturer is in a “brilliant situation” regarding driver talent for the third car, stating that the brand has “a pool of drivers” it can choose from.

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

“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 – there’s no doubt we’ll learn a lot from his valuable feedback.

“Our 36-hour long run with Porsche Penske Motorsport and our works drivers at Motorland Aragón offers a perfect environment for this.”

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.

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans