Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel completed his first run in a contemporary Hypercar on Tuesday, taking part in a successful test in a Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

The former F1 star tested the car after an extensive sim session at the Porsche Penske Mannheim facility in Germany and a brief shakedown at the Weissach Development Centre last week.

In Spain, he completed 118 laps of the Spanish circuit and 581 kilometres across two fault-free double stints, The test, which is ongoing, is an endurance run for Porsche as part of its pre-Le Mans preparations. The running took place in the dry with tarmac temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.

While there is no official news regarding a future WEC or IMSA drive with Porsche for Vettel, this test is a clear indication that the German ace is interested in a future sportscar program. Vettel has long been known to hold an interest in the Le Mans 24 Hours and was understood by RACER to have been engaged in talks with Porsche to sample the 963 prior to the 2024 Rolex 24 Hours in January.

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

“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. The driving experience is different simply because of the roof over your head, as well as dealing with the higher weight and the tires.

“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.”

Seven other Porsche works drivers will take part in the ongoing endurance test. Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki will share the No.5, while Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor will drive the No.6. They will be joined in Aragon by reigning DTM champion Thomas Preining.

“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. 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,” explained Jonathan Diuguid, Man aging Director Porsche Penske Motorsport.

“Having Sebastian Vettel here is a unique opportunity for the team. He is a four-time Formula 1 world champion. He has extensive 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.”