Vettel to test a Porsche 963

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is entering new territory as he prepares to test a Porsche 963 in a 36-hour test conducted by Porsche Penske Motorsports at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

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


The German driver has already prepared extensively for the test, having met the operations crew at the Porsche Penske Motorsport facility in Mannheim and completing an extended simulator session at Porsche Motorsport. He had a brief taste of the 963 on the in-house test track at the Weissach R&D Center. It proved to be an unusual experience for the 36-year old; after 299 F1 starts, it had been some time since Vettel had driven a racing car with a roof – previously only at the Race of Champions or turning demo laps.

Joining Vettel for the test next week at Aragon are Porsche factory drivers Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frédéric Makowiecki, Kévin Estre, André Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor. The endurance test serves as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Porsche is aiming for a 20th overall victory.

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

The 963 and Porsche Penske Motorsport have had an excellent start to the 2024 season, winning both the opening round of the World Endurance Championship in Qatar as well as the season opener for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Rolex 24 At Daytona. PPM will enter three 963s at Le Mans, in addition to entries from privateer teams Hertz Team JOTA and Proton Competition.

Story originally appeared on Racer