Eric Boullier insists that Lotus' decision on who it will field for the 2014 season will be take on merit, and not through money.

With Romain Grosjean set to stay on for another season, Lotus is seeking a driver to replace Kimi Raikkonen after the announcement that he is to rejoin Ferrari next year.

With most of the top seats having already been taken, the vacant seat at Enstone is now the most attractive option available for those drivers still seeking a drive for the new season.

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Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg are amongst those to have been linked with the vacancy, with Boullier insisting that there were reasons why both should be considered - although Massa had one thing in his favour.

"Both are very fast," he told the official F1 website. "Felipe is more at the end of his career than at the beginning. Massa was nearly world champion - he was champion for half a lap! He has a lot of experience, which is very valuable. Hulkenberg is highly rated in the paddock. So the question is do we want to be conservative and work with an experienced driver - especially with the new engine and power train next year - or do we gamble on a youngster?

"It is true that you have a different level of confidence behind you when you are a race winner. It is in the list of the pros for Felipe. But in both cases it would be a gamble!"

Boullier did add that sponsorship wouldn't be a factor in the decision taken, with the team in no hurry to make a decision over who will replace Raikkonen next year.

"It would have zero effect on our decision," Boullier said over the issue of sponsors. "I want to choose the driver on merit and not on money.

"We are in no hurry. We are now assessing all the possibilities and hold each option against our strategy. We can afford to buy some time, as we have the most-wanted free seat."