Sebastian Vettel seen during the Red Bull Formula Nuerburgring at the Nuerburgring in Germany on September 9, 2023. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

WEC News: No Porsche seat for Vettel at 2024 Le Mans (Update)

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel will not launch a return to premier motorsport this year at Le Mans.

The retired quadruple world champion recently tested Porsche’s Le Mans-ready 963 hypercar, amid speculation he may join the driver line-up for the marque’s third car entry.

It was even suggested that Porsche had delayed the planned announcement of that third car’s driver lineup while the German camp waited for 36-year-old Vettel’s decision.

However, the specialist Motorsport Aktuell magazine published a month ago that “Porsche factory drivers have apparently already been informed that the third car will be driven by Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr and Nick Tandy as originally planned”.

That has now finally been confirmed by Porsche, who made no mention of Vettel in the official statement.

“After announcing the entry of a third car in Le Mans, we still had two driver positions available,” said boss Urs Kuratle. “The decision was not easy for us given our very strong and equally skilled squad.

“Ultimately, one of the deciding factors was having Le Mans experience.”

April 16, 2024 

(GMM) No longer good enough for F1, Sebastian Vettel has left Porsche waiting for his decision about returning to premier motor racing.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, with a cockpit still to fill for 2025, recently admitted the retired quadruple world champion is currently “flirting” with a comeback.

However, Red Bull ruled out a reunion with the 36-year-old German, while the major German newspaper Bild claims Wolff does not regard Vettel as a real contender to replace Lewis Hamilton next year.

“Sebastian Vettel has expressed his interest in a Formula 1 comeback,” writes Oliver Reuter in the Kolner Express newspaper, “but nobody wants him.

“Despite free cockpits next season, the German cannot find a place.”

However, there does seem to be a place for Vettel in the Porsche family, with the winner of 53-grands prix recently testing a Le Mans-ready Porsche hypercar.

But reports that Vettel is yet to get back to the German carmaker about his next move.

“We have read in the media that he is in talks with several people, but we only know that he has not yet decided what he will do,” said Urs Kuratle, director of Porsche factory racing.

“We also do not know if he will appear with us again – or where or when. We will know in the coming weeks,” he added.

Porsche recently delayed a planned announcement about the full driver lineup for Porsche’s third hypercar entry at the fabled 24 hour race for 2024.

“We always look at what is best for the team,” said Kuratle. “We have many good drivers.”

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