Sebastian Vettel set to test Porsche 963
Photo: Porsche Penske Motorsport

Sebastian Vettel set to test Porsche 963

Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel will test the Porsche 963 Hypercar challenger at Motorland Aragon, Spain, next week.

Vettel has already spent extensive time in a simulator with FIA WEC team Porsche Penske Motorsport to prepare for the Spanish circuit in Aragón. At a rollout of the Porsche 963 on the test track at Porsche’s R&D Centre in Weissach, he turned his first laps in the Hybrid prototype. It will mark the first that Vettel has experienced a Hypercar.

Vettel commented: “I’m looking forward to testing the Porsche 963. 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 Aragon 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.”

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport, added: “We’re delighted that Sebastian Vettel is interested in our Porsche 963. 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.”

Vettel has prepared systematically for the test with the Porsche 963. On 14 March, he met the operations crew at the Porsche Penske Motorsport facility in Mannheim. The next day, the German completed an extensive simulator session at Porsche Motorsport. There, he got to know the engineers and familiarise himself with the special features and complex control systems of the Le Mans prototype. On 21 March, he got his first taste of the Porsche 963 on the in-house test track at the Weissach R&D Centre. 

Next week, Porsche Penske Motorsport will head to the 5.078-kilometre circuit at Motorland Aragon to conduct a 36-hour long run. Joining Vettel for the test are the works drivers Matt Campbell (Australia), Michael Christensen (Denmark), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) Kévin Estre (France), André Lotterer (Germany) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). This endurance test serves as preparation for round four of this year’s WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.