Frederic Vasseur expects Renault will announce its 2017 line-up in early September and says the drivers it chooses must be "capable of leading a team".
Renault looks set to play a key role in the driver market for next season, with Kevin Magnussen or Jolyon Palmer unsure whether they will be retained for another year. The team, which returned to the grid as a manufacturer this season, has been linked with Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas in recent weeks.
Team principal Vasseur says the drivers chosen must be able to lead Renault and the long-term project it hopes will take it back to the front of the grid.
"If you look at the success stories of the past, success was always built around a driver: [Michael] Schumacher and Ferrari, [Sebastian] Vettel and Red Bull, Lewis [Hamilton] and Mercedes, and also [Fernando] Alonso and Renault in the past -- so the driver is important," Vasseur told the official F1 website. "A driver is not only about performance, but about being capable of leading a team.
"Right now we have more or less a thousand people in the team, if you take Viry and Enstone together, and that needs some sort of emotional leadership -- and that is the job for a driver! We need a driver who is super-motivated and able to super-motivate everybody else."
When asked if Magnussen and Palmer fit the bill as team leaders, he replied: "They are improving! We know we are on the grid, so 'improving' is written in capital letters for us. It is too early to make any decision right here and now. We will probably do it at the beginning of September."
Though Renault has only finished in the points once this season - Magnussen's seventh position in Russia - Vasseur is happy with how both his drivers have been performing.
"It's not easy for them either. They have been used to winning in the past [in junior categories] -- and now they are cut off from that. I see both of them improving. Keep in mind that Jo is rookie and Kevin did only one season [of F1] before -- and that was two years ago.
"Jo has been improving a lot -- true he spun in Hungary, but so far he did a good job. And that also goes for Kevin. Both have a very optimistic approach. They are a good support for the team."