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Vettel set to test Porsche 963 Hypercar as he explains ‘curiosity’ for endurance events

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Sebastian Vettel will get behind the wheel of the Porsche 963 Hypercar during a 36-hour endurance test for Porsche Penske Motorsport in Spain this week.

Four-time F1 world champion Vettel – who retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season following a 15-year career in the sport – has already spent time in the simulator with the FIA World Endurance Championship squad in preparation for the test in Aragon.

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The German then went on to gain his first laps in the Hybrid prototype as the Porsche 963 was rolled out at the company’s R&D Centre in Weissach, before he will drive a Hypercar for the first time during the upcoming test held at the Motorland Aragon circuit.

Vettel has revealed that his “curiosity” about endurance racing encouraged him to participate in the test, though he has stated that he currently has “no further plans for the future”.

“I’m looking forward to testing the Porsche 963,” he said. “I already got the chance to get a feel for the car during a rollout in Weissach.

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Vettel will test the Porsche 963 Hypercar at the Motorland Aragon circuit

“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.”

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Vettel has already been preparing for the test, having met with the operations crew at the Porsche Penske Motorsport facility in Mannheim earlier in March before undertaking an extensive simulator session the following day, where he also familiarised himself with the features and control systems of the Le Mans prototype.

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Vettel retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, commented on Vettel joining the test: “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.

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

Vettel will be joined at the test – which acts as preparation for the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans event in June – by six works drivers including Andre Lotterer, who made a one-off appearance in F1 racing for Caterham at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix.

During his Formula 1 career, Vettel became one of the most successful drivers in the sport's history, amassing four world championships, 53 race wins and 57 pole positions.

Sebastian Vettel gears up for endurance test drive in Porsche 963

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