Le Mans 24 Hours star Andre Lotterer has warned not to expect too much from what he called a "brave" Formula 1 debut with Caterham at the Belgian Grand Prix.
AUTOSPORT revealed on Monday that Lotterer was set for a shock call-up to replace Kamui Kobayashi for the Spa race, making his first F1 start at the age of 32.
"I have to learn everything very fast, so don't expect too much from me," said Lotterer in the Belgian GP paddock on Thursday.
"F1 is dictated a lot by the car and I'm aware that, unfortunately, we don't have a winning car.
"But we have an updated package and I hope I can bring all of my experience and my speed as fast as possible.
"Caterham asked me to race here. It's not just for fun or for my personal interest, it's to give my best and to help them.
"We will try to do a weekend without mistakes initially and if I have the opportunity to so something good, I do it."
While Lotterer will not have tried the Caterham before the start of Friday practice, he was able to do some simulator work earlier this week.
The factory Audi LMP1 World Endurance Championship driver doubts his reputation will be damaged if his F1 chance does not go well.
"It's an unusual situation. The wins in other categories gave me the confidence to say 'OK, I have an established career on the other side with Audi and also, in parallel, in Japan, so I don't have much to lose doing this,'" said Lotterer.
"To have the chance to drive [in F1] is something special, not everybody has the chance to jump in like that.
"I thought 'I have this opportunity, let's do it'.
"It's a big challenge, I think I have to be quite brave to jump in like this in the middle of the season but the reasons I feel ready for it are that, first of all, I still race single-seaters in Super Formula, which is one of the fastest single-seater series after F1. In that sense, I am not out of shape in Formula racing.
"I'm racing really complex cars in the WEC with Audi.
"The last time I drove an F1 car was more than 10 years ago, the sport has changed and evolved but on my side I gained a lot of experience as well."
F1'S 30-SOMETHING DEBUTANTS
Lotterer is the first driver to make his F1 debut in his thirties since Yuji Ide's brief Super Aguri stint when he was 31 in 2006.
Only two drivers this century have joined F1 at such an advanced age, but one of them is an ex-Audi Le Mans team-mate of Lotterer's - Allan McNish was 32 years old when he started his single season of grand prix racing with Toyota 12 years ago.
There was a spate of 30-something debutants with backmarker teams in the mid-1990s, many of them pay drivers such as Taki Inoue and Giovanni Lavaggi, but also including drivers such as Roland Ratzenberger, whose paths to the top were more tortuous.
Andrea Montermini is an unusual case: he would have still been in his twenties (by a few days) had he made his F1 debut as planned with Simtek in the 1994 Spanish GP, but the injuries from his ferocious practice crash meant he did not start a race until he signed for Pacific a year later.
Other notable drivers to start F1 late in the modern era include Michael Andretti, whose ill-fated switch from IndyCar to McLaren came at the age of 30.
The most successful 30-something debutant in recent decades is undoubtedly Damon Hill. The 1996 world champion was 31 years old when he qualified his Brabham for the 1992 British GP.
One parallel Lotterer will want to avoid is another sportscar star's one-off in 1988.
Jean-Louis Schlesser, then a leading light in the Sauber Mercedes Group C team, was 39 when he stood in for Nigel Mansell at Williams in that year's Italian GP, and ended up taking out race leader Ayrton Senna while being lapped - denying McLaren a clean sweep of victories that season.
THE LAST 10 F1 NEWCOMERS IN THEIR THIRTIES
Yuji Ide, Super Aguri, 2006 Bahrain GP, 31 years, one month and 19 days
Allan McNish, Toyota, 2002 Australian GP, 32 years, two months and two days
Giovanni Lavaggi, Pacific, 1995 German GP, 37 years, five months and 12 days
Andrea Montermini, Pacific, 1995 Brazilian GP, 30 years, nine months and 24 days
Jean-Denis Deletraz, Larrousse, 1994 Australian GP, 31 years, one month and 12 days
Taki Inoue, Simtek, 1994 Japanese GP, 31 years, two months and one day
Roland Ratzenberger, Simtek, 1994 Pacific GP, 33 years, nine months and 13 days
Toshio Suzuki, Larrousse, 1993 Japanese GP, 38 years, seven months and 14 days
Jean-Marc Gounon, Minardi, 1993 Japanese GP, 30 years, nine months and 23 days
Michael Andretti, McLaren, 1993 South African GP, 30 years, five months and nine days
Lotterer will be 32 years, nine months and five days old when he takes the start at Spa on Sunday.
Information courtesy of AUTOSPORT's statistics partner FORIX