The decision on Michael Schumacher’s future with Mercedes will be decided during the mid-season break in August, according to team principal Ross Brawn.
The seven-time world champion will be out of contract with the German manufacturer at the end of the season but it has not been decided yet whether the partnership will continue in 2013.
"We have not talked in depth about the situation - but we know it is coming and we have to make a decision soon,” Brawn said during the FOTA Fans’ Forum.
"I think in the next six weeks or so we will have to think about what we want to do next year - and that is the primary decision,” he added. “Once that decision is made we will then know if we have to start looking around or stick with the drivers we have."
There have been a few candidates rumoured to replace the 43-year-old German, one of which is Paul di Resta with Force India clarifying that it would have no objections should Mercedes decided to give Schumacher’s seat to the Scot.
"Vijay (Mallya) has said in the past that we know we are not a championship winning team at this point, and we know we have two good drivers in Nico (Hulkenberg) and Paul,” Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said.
"If one was encouraged to join the top four (teams) we would have to sit down to effect a commercial arrangement,” he pointed out. “We would not get in the way of the career of a driver but there would have to be commercial agreement in place."