richard_leeds wrote:The low fuel runs are relevant for F1 because of the importance of qualifying. However, it is better to run in second and finish with good reliability, than to have a pole position car that fails to finish. Vettel was an example of that in the first half of 2010. Hence the importance of long runs.
And to counter that I quote veteran F1 engineer Frank Dernie, who worked for Williams, Lotus, Benetton, Ligier, Arrows and Toyota (via Autosport):
Frank Dernie wrote:I thought readers may be interested in the type of testing teams are likely to be doing.
Every engineer has a different approach to keeping the others guessing. The fact is that, by miles, the most important thing everyone needs to do is learn how to get the best from the tyres. You learn almost nothing running light, so it is unlikely that any serious team will run low fuel at all, or if they do one or two runs only.
A car set up well for the tyres whilst heavy will be good light, the converse is almost never true. It means that it is quite likely nobody important will show their true pace before the first race.
Getting a race distance on the car is crucial. The best way to evaluate the competitiveness of the teams will be to compare the pace in the race simulations, but this data is rarely published, unfortunately.
The list of fastest times, which is always published, is probably the least useful testing information an observer gets!