Vettel back at the wheel for Porsche Penske Le Mans test

motorsport22 March 2024 16:38| © Reuters
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Sebastian Vettel © Getty Images

Retired four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel is getting back behind the wheel to test a Porsche Penske Le Mans hypercar in Spain next week.

The world endurance team said the 36-year-old, a 53-times grand prix winner who left Formula One at the end of 2022, will drive the Porsche 963 hybrid prototype at the Motorland Aragon circuit as part of a 36-hour test.

The German has already spent time in the simulator as well as carrying out some test laps at Porsche's Weissach test track on Thursday.

"I've always followed other racing series and my curiosity for endurance events encouraged me to just give it a shot," said Vettel, who won his F1 titles with Red Bull and whose last race was with Aston Martin.

"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."

Vettel, who is outspoken on the environment and has campaigned for renewable energy, said in 2022 that climate change had made him question his F1 job.

Le Mans cars run on 100 per cent renewable biofuel derived partly from wine industry residues.

The Le Mans 24 Hours race is on June 15-16 with Porsche aiming for a 20th outright victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe and the factory team entering three 963 cars with the third line-up as yet undecided.