Sebastian Vettel facing major decision on racing return amid Le Mans 24 temptation

Thomas Maher
Sebastian Vettel, Porsche, Motorland Aragon.

Sebastian Vettel carried out a long test with Porsche at Motorland Aragon in Spain this week.

Sebastian Vettel has admitted he isn’t yet sure whether or not he wants to pursue participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours, following his test with Porsche this week.

The German driver retired from Formula 1 at the conclusion of the 2022 season, but had a high-profile test with Porsche in Spain earlier this week as a tilt at the Le Mans 24 Hours may tempt him back into a cockpit.

Sebastian Vettel: I need to decide what to do

Last week, Vettel was announced as joining a long list of drivers taking part in an extensive 36-hour test at Motorland Aragon in Spain, with the Porsche Penske Motorsport team ramping up their preparations for the famous Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.

With three cars confirmed for Porsche Penske, the line-ups for two of the cars has been decided – but there are still two vacant spots in the third car.

With Vettel seemingly weighing up whether or not to make a racing comeback by joining Porsche for Le Mans, he headed along to Aragon earlier this week and clocked up hundreds of kilometres of testing – reportedly at a competitive pace.

Addressing his test during a press call at an investor call for the Perple nutritional sports drink, for whom he has become an investor and ambassador, Vettel told the reasons for deciding to carry out the test.

“I was curious how these cars behave, and that was the reason for the test,” he said.

“It was a very nice experience, I enjoyed it a lot, and I had a lot of fun.

“Now I need to think and decide, and make my mind up, what I maybe want to do in terms of racing in the future. But I don’t know yet.”

With Vettel revealed as an investor in the new natural energy drink, asked the four-time F1 World Champion whether he’d be angling to have Perple put in his drinks pouch if he does embark on the challenge of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“If I decide to… I’ll tell you what, it was in the drinks pouch when I tested the car!” he smiled in response.

“So yeah, should I race in Le Mans, 100 percent it will be there, because it’s exactly what I would need at a race where you sit in the car for a very long time!” recommends

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Sebastian Vettel completes extensive Porsche WEC test

Vettel drove a total of 581 kilometres at Motorland Aragon earlier this week, his first major motorsport foray since leaving F1 behind (aside from participating in the Race of Champions), although rumours linked him with a campaign in WEC last year – rumours that fizzled out.

Porsche is expected to confirm the driver line-up for their third car over the next two weeks, although Vettel’s test may have changed that timeline.

“Of course, I also keep an eye on other motorsport disciplines,” Vettel said of his day behind the wheel of the Porsche 963 hypercar.

“I know many drivers who are active in the WEC and Le Mans. 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.”

Having been one of the modern-day stars of single-seater racing, Vettel said the biggest difference had been in getting used to having a roof over his head.

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

“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.”

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