Sebastien Loeb believes it will be impossible to be competitive in the World Touring Car Championship straight away if Citroen decides to enter the series in the near future.
The nine-time World Rally champion is scaling back his rally outings to just four next year, as he focuses on making a full-time switch to circuit racing.
But Loeb believes that he will need at least two years in the series to have a chance of being a regular frontrunner.
"At the moment we are waiting for the OK from the board," said Loeb. "If it comes, I plan [to race in the WTCC] for at least two years; one to learn and one to drive.
"I will do my best immediately, but it would be a miracle to be immediately at the right level.
"To be fighting with the drivers who have been there on those tracks for 10 years is not possible."
Loeb added that despite his age, he will feel like a youngster when he tackles circuit racing on a regular basis.
"It's a new challenge, and I have a lot to learn," he said. "In rallying, I don't have much to learn and I don't have so much to improve.
"If I go to WTCC, I will arrive like a young driver."
* For more from Loeb on why he and Citroen are attracted to the WTCC, read this week's issue of AUTOSPORT.