1 - Scripted?? Bullshit.
2 - I did NOT say I wanted a spec series. The teams have ALWAYS had regulations restricting their work. If they hadn't we'd have seen far more power even back in the 1950s than was used in the actual races. NEVER has F1 been a series in which any car can simply show up and attempt to qualify. Otherwise we'd have idiots with Corsas showing up at every event and making a mockery of Friday practice.
While I would like the regulations to be less complex and restrictive, I don't think going anywhere near as far as you have is viable or sustainable.
1.- Do you believe Pastor Maldonado suddenly got the pace to qualify 2nd (and then promoted to 1st) exactly at Frank Williams' birthday and win the race just after he had been nowhere in the season and then get back to his usual place for the next race is possible without some kind of manipulation ? Don't you think that rules are just ready to do this manipulation ?
2.- In the beginnings of F1, when GP races where held without a world championship, it was pretty much like that. You could enter the race and see what happens. Obviously, in a bad car you had no chance to win, but you had the joy of racing. If it could be more like that it would be good for F1. Parhaps there should still be some restrictions but minimal. Only enough to reduce participation to a reasonable number of cars. The Corsas could be avoided easily. The idea is that, if you already have a fast car (LMP1, an old F1, Indy car, etc) you can try and qualify for a GP. It may be only one but it would be really refreshing to see that. Even if an idiot with his corsa makes it to the friday sessions it would be nice and attractive. Many people will look at it and collect some money to do the same. Then, only the best would make it right and the "stupid" ones would get out. It is a matter of generating motivation for many and not just the usual ones.
I think freedom is viable and sustainable. Why don't you ? How far would you go on freeing tech development ?
If Ferrari and McLaren can't afford to fund themselves now, how are they going to fund themselves when there is no limit to development? And Ferrari doesn't race to sell cars, they sell cars to race. Why would sponsors want to fund a team that is forever 3rd? You get involved with a team in hopes that it can do better and get noticed. Not finish in the same place all the time. Further, who is going to show up to watch a sport where the top three places are GUARANTEED, and determined by MONEY not design or skill? If nobody wants to watch it, nobody wants to invest in it either.
How do you select drivers from karting to go straight to F1 if karting is nothing like your F1? What may make for a winning kart racer will not guarantee a winning F1 driver, in ANY version of F1 that doesn't involve go karts. You HAVE to have lesser series for people to learn in. Even the guys at the beginning had experience in other racing that was relevant to Grand Prix racing either in format or in cars. It was a little different back then because grand prix cars had many uses - you could race them in many different formats. Cars dictated by your format wouldn't be able to race anywhere else. So you'll end up with some mighty fast tricked out Ferrari, paid for by Ferrari (who is currently screaming for cost cutting btw) that is 20 seconds faster than the McLaren (paid for by McLaren), and driven by...the Italian karting champion who has never sat in something as fast, sensitive, or scary as an 'F1" car developed with no budget and no limits. Yeah, that will be super safe.
Sponsors don't understand racing. THey dont understand "if we only had this, we'd win". It doesn't work that way. They have boards who decide their level of involvement ahead of time. Most of the time you cant call them up mid season and ask for more because you've already spent all their money. You'd look ridiculous.
No designer with near unlimited development opportunity bothers with making something cost effective, they just make it fast. Like racers only want to win, designers only want to win too.
And again, if the budget determines the finishing order, as you've confirmed it likely would, it defeats the purpose of having good drivers. You say you want to emphasize driving skill, but your formula negates it 100%.
Ferrari and anyone else can keep on spending just the same they do now. They would be free to spend more and not forced to do so. They could just go on with their operations as they are. Whenever they find more money they could develop their cars.
It is a virtuous cycle: Ferrari sells cars (good cars) to get some good revenue. If their cars were not good they would have to sell them cheapper. In order to make good cars they need to develop technology and test it. Being in F1 gives them the chance to increase their experience and knowledge that is surely useful to make better cars. If they lear how to make better cars, they will surely get more revenue from selling them. This money can then be used to develop more tech and so on. Not to mention that being exposed in F1 lets people know about them and thus increase their sales.
Sponsors look for exposure. Being third could be very good for some, if that is achieved with little money. Sponsors decide based on efficiency. If they put X amount of money they expect to receive more due to the effect that publicity has in their sales. Winning is not the only way to achieve this. See how Marussia has several sponsors. There is always a sponsor that could be happy with third place in the championship. It may be that fourth place is very close to third and then sponsors will find ways to move up one place by adding money to that fourth place.
You should see that most people would be interested in watching even if the top three are always the same. I am sure that the battle for fourth would be really interesting too. A lot of "movement" would be taking place all the time. New cars, New tech, new drivers, etc. If the driver that ends first all the time does not improve, second will start closing the gap. The same for third, etc. It is that movement what will make us keep on looking at what is happenning. Point 18.104.22.168.1 guarrantees the best will have to show his skills and /or his car's potential when overtaking everyone else to win the race. Second place will always have the chance to delay being overtaken by the first place (who is always behind at the start). Even if the result is always the same it would be very interesting. If the result is not the same, i.e. second is able to hold first behind, means that he has finally made the necessary changes and this would be also very interesting. I think more people will want to watch than now.
Results would be a consequence of design and/or skill. Money is used for car design. If you have a super car, then skill might not be really important. But then, anyone could drive that car to win, so, the salary of that driver would certainly drop dramaticallly. This drop could be so big that this driver would have to pay for his seat. In this way the team saves money and can use it to do more research which is good. But you know that there are two (and could be more than two in the proposed system) equal cars. The difference between these two cars' results depend on driver skill. The same happens when two cars perform very similarly. If one driver constantly beats the other in equal or similar cars, means that this driver has better skills. The better driver can get paid more, the worse one must pay more.
A karting driver can be really very good but has no money to race at a higher level. See the Kimi case. How much did it take for him to jums from karting to F1? very little. Lower formula is good because driver get more experience, but talent does not need them to exist. Great drivers are all over the world and have not been discovered. They need a chance. A system like this would put pressure on teams to select drivers from anywhere. Many would give them a chance to test and, if they get impressed, they could hire them. These drivers would be initially very cheap so teams have also this motivation. Expensive drivers would have to lower their salary just to keep their seats. Of course, the best drivers could still keep a decent salary while the worst would have to pay.
When a driver has a car 20 secs faster than anyone else then he does not have to really race the car. He can just cruise to the finish line without exposing to an accident. But as said, this would not be the case. He would have some similar cars to beat, and so, he can't be just any driver. He must show skill.
It doesn't matter how ridiculous you look. You should talk to your sponsors and convince then (whenever it is appropriate) to give you more money. If you know that you can move up in the standings with just an extra million, you must explain in any way you can to your potential sponsor and see if they are willing to "buy" that improvement. Then you MUST deliver. If you do, they will be happy and the next time you find a way to improve your car and you know the price, they might agree again.
Designers must restrict their ideas to the available budget. Any engineers knows this. You can be creative but there is always the question of how much will it cost. Only cost effective solutions exist in real life.
Budget does not define the finishing order, but it helps. Driver skill is still needed as I have just explained. The only case when skill is not needed is when one driver, and only one, has a much better car than the rest. The rest must use their skill to get closer to a race win.