Green ideas per se are not “silly”, but to hold F1 up on some sort of pedestal as the savior for all the World’s environmental problems is unrealistic.
I agree it’s unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean that F1 doesn’t have its part to play. Any change that is brought about in our reliance on fossil fuels will have to come incrementally in order to be viable.
I completely disagree with you that F1 should not be a research lab. That’s exactly what it should be – a testing ground for new and exciting motoring technology, developed in a field of intense competition. If you want to watch spec cars circulating round bland circuits with anonymous drivers, I can recommend any number of series. F1 is, first and foremost, an engineering challenge, and always should be. With that in mind, F1 has to adapt with the times, and right now our most pressing requirement is to develop technologies for environmentally sustainable public and private transport. So the sporting “challenge” presented to F1′s designers and engineers should reflect that.
I think we have some common ground here – you don’t want to see the essence of the sport sacrificed for the sake of gimmicks, and neither do I. I want the rules to allow for technical freedom, so that F1′s most creative minds can come up with solutions that will not only make their F1 cars go faster, but also benefit the wider motoring world in some meaningful way. Not standardised, one-size-fits-all, self-defeating gimmicks that are fashionable only because they come with a “green” sticker on them. But I maintain that the principles behind these moves are sound, even though the implementation isn’t.