Lotus has said it will put driver decisions on hold while it sorts out the team's finances for next season.
Team principal Eric Boullier said finalising a deal with new investors was more of a priority than hiring a replacement for 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
“I want to close this deal, because it is important for the team. It will give us financial stability for more than five years and take us two steps forward in terms of revenue,” he said.
“After that, we can think about drivers for next year - and also for 2015, 2016, and 2017.”
Raikkonen will be moving to Ferrari, the team with which he won the championship, in 2014 to partner Fernando Alonso, while Romain Grosjean is expected to remain with Lotus.
The Finn said after his move was announced that one of the reasons for his decision was that Lotus had failed to pay his salary.
Sauber's German driver Nico Hulkenberg and Brazilian Felipe Massa, who lost his place at Ferrari to Raikkonen, have been mentioned as frontrunners for the vacant Lotus seat.
Boullier indicated the choice was between “a youngster who can stay with us three years” or doing a short-term deal before then seeing “what is available on the market after that”.
“I want to close the financial situation to make sure that we pick the driver on merit.”
“And then, if we are an attractive team with an attractive combination of drivers and we can get some sponsors, fine. But that is not the priority.”
Lotus announced in June that a consortium of private investors, including an American hedge-fund manager and an Abu Dhabi-based multinational business group, had acquired a 35 percent stake.
However, the deal has yet to be finalised. - Reuters