As we’ve seen with Grosjean and Kobayashi, good results in lower categories do not guarantee good results in Formula 1.
Did you see my thread about just that very subject?
The recent trend has actually been that the mediocre feeder drivers have become stars in F1, while the former feeder champs have been mediocre, so I completely agree.
I agree with most of what you said, but I just can’t remember the last time I test driver has done so well and attracted so much attention. He has done it twice now. I think the HRT and Ferrari times show that these guys aren’t pushing for times during testing, but 1.3sec over the field is still impressive
They’re reportedly unhappy with his ability to set a car up. Hartley, too. Given that Abu Dhabi just held a race, it’s unlikely Ricciardo did any setup work.
Third time I have read this now, about his ability to set the car up not being good. I knew that about Hartley, but is there a source on this story about Ricciardo? I missed the story. That is something that needs to be considered, since being a good F1 driver is an entire package (speed, consistency, fitness, attitude, even PR/sponsors/marketability). If he only has 1 of these 5 then he may be overlooked.
Being Australian might be a disadvantage, esp when you are competing with upcoming drivers from large emerging markets or from existing large markets for both TV and sponsor audience. Australia is tiny when compared to even Sao Paulo