Just read through this entire thread. Think I have followed this. Lots of great points being made by various folks, but I want to make sure I understand your core points and line of thinking. To recap:
1) Everything starts with the realization there is something to be learned.
2) In order to learn you need to delineate the effectiveness of various ”technologies” connected to what you are trying to learn. Can I infer the term "technologies" to be broadly defined as actual technology, dynamics, solutions, approaches, methods, techniques, etc.? I think about this concept being important so as to ensure you are learning the best solutions, or from the best advice, available at the time.
3) There is a hierarchy of information on the topic you are learning. Not all information on the topic or issue at hand is created equal. You need to focus on the most important information or elements.
4) It is critical you truly understand the information. To your point about "solid understanding of key fundamentals" by the pros.
5) There is a time and place for stepping back and applying critical thinking skills (e.g. back in the pits between sessions evaluating what was/was not working on track and why, and determining what you need to adjust).
6) Practice matters …so things become instinct and matter of course. As very well said by sfdownhill … "train until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong".
Anything I am missing in your train of thought? To me this all seems logical.
In many respects you could have called this thread "The Learning Journey". To that end, the only thing I would add for those who are looking to race or really focused on reducing lap times, is the concept of leveraging data and analytics to find areas of improvements. For lack of a better term call it "the need for highly effective feedback loops". Now doubt, doing everything above is critical to learning, getting better and can carry you a long way. But I think putting measurement methods in place and analytics to work to help identify improvement opportunities can be powerful (and I think even necessary at the upper echelons of the sport). I think about the 2D sensors and software tools I've seen and how insightful all that can be about where one is leaving time on the table if you will.