Like it or not, nowadays racing is about the spectacle more than the race. Especially with all the cost cutting and how restrictive the rules are in F1, anyone who watches to be amazed by technology or fast lap times is going to be disappointed anyway.
As far as I'm concerned, unless they change the rules to allow some more design freedom, they might as well put a hottie in every car and let them all drive a couple of seconds slower. At least it will be more fun to watch the podiums and the commercials they make.
Well, look at the Barcelona test times, more than a second quicker than pole last year.
I take your point about the Technical Regulations, particularly in regard to the power units, DRS, etc. The TWG have painted themselves into a corner. They want to cut costs, but the 'technology' aspect has instead increased them. Then they restrict testing and moan about reliability in the early days of 2014. I think we might improve the spectacle by moving the FIA from France to, say, the UK. It is fascinating that, in the year the FIA wanted to 'control costs,' several teams essentially folded financially. Effective rule making? I don't think so.
As for Carmen, I'm sure she's a nice person and all. Developing the new chassis requires pushing to the limit, and her record is not compelling in that regard, given the GP2/3 rules and her performance within them. Do Lotus want to gain marketing headlines? Or do they want to win? With the new engine, what excuses do they have in hand?
Personally, I'd hire Nigel Mansell or JPM to shake down the chassis. Remember Nigel's first test session with Williams? He dropped two seconds in the first session after simply softening the spring rates that Boutsen/Patrese were running. When Carmen starts making her presence felt on podiums, then sure, give her a shot. Until then, get the lap times down.