Force India says speed rather than money will be the deciding factor in who lines up alongside Paul di Resta next year.
The Silverstone-based team is expected to confirm its 2013 driver line-up in the next few weeks, with a host of names having been linked with the outfit.
Although Paul di Resta is understood to be certain to retain his drive, the identity of his team-mate is not yet clear, with Sebastien Buemi, Adrian Sutil, Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi having been linked with it.
Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer thinks it vital that the outfit finds a quick replacement for the departing Nico Hulkenberg, because that will ensure it gets the best out of di Resta too.
"I am a believer that you need someone like that," he told AUTOSPORT. "Not everyone does, and it is a subconscious thing.
"You think you are driving the best you can, but there is nothing like competition for us humans to really sharpen our focus, attention and skills in all sort of stuff.
"If you have competition you end up driving yourself more."
Force India is expected to announce its line-up at its Christmas party, which takes place in the middle of December.
"We will announce everything in a couple of weeks," said Szafnauer. "We have a pretty short list of candidates now."