Sebastian Vettel’s ‘curiosity’ about Porsche WEC test ahead of Le Mans decision

Thomas Maher
Sebastian Vettel, Porsche, Motorland Aragon.

Sebastian Vettel has tested for Porsche ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Sebastian Vettel has completed his first test at the wheel of a Le Mans car, driving the Porsche 963 in Spain.

Vettel was confirmed as one of several drivers taking part in the 36-hour-long test at Motorland Aragon in Spain, with the four-time F1 World Champion getting his first experience at the wheel of a hybrid prototype World Endurance Championship machine.

Sebastian Vettel completes Porsche run-out as Le Mans tempts

Having already completed a run-out with Porsche at their facility in Weissach over the weekend, following an extensive simulator acclimatisation programme, Vettel headed along with the Porsche Penske Motorsport team to take part in their preparations for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team is entering three cars into the prestigious endurance event at the Circuit de la Sarthe, with the driver line-ups for two of the cars already confirmed. However, the third car still has two spaces available – and it appears Vettel, who retired from F1 at the conclusion of 2022, may be considering the possibility of taking up the challenge.

For now, Vettel insists he has no plans, but Penske will need to make a decision on their final two drivers over the coming weeks.

Vettel completed 118 laps, a total of 581 kilometres, with two double stints during his debut racetrack appearance with an LMDh prototype car built for the World Endurance Championship.

The German enjoyed perfect track conditions for the test, completing just under two Grand Prix distances over the course of the day.

Speaking after his drive, Vettel explained how he’d had great fun, and had a curiosity about the discipline that led him to try out the test.


“Of course, I also keep an eye on other motorsport disciplines,” he said.

“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.” recommends

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No lap times have been officially confirmed by Porsche, although reports in German media suggest that Vettel was quickly on the pace shown by regular driver Laurens Vanthoor.

“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 Jonathan Diuguid, managing director of Porsche Penske Motorsport.

“The quite long back straight that gives us the top speed of more than 300 km/h we see on the Circuit des 24 Heures.

“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.”

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