Ahead of a race weekend, engineers are also running offline computer simulations, using a racing line file generated from the DiL simulator. Engineers can complete thousands of virtual laps a day using this method because the laps can be run in parallel and at a sped-up pace, whereas the DiL must run in real time.
The computer simulations produce thousands of gigabytes of data and this information is generated into graphs and plots, which are useful for understanding the correct wing levels, ride heights and other parameters over a range of set-ups and conditions.
This phenomenal computing power allows the engineers to compare set-up changes side by side, mastering how the car will respond to the smallest of tweaks.
Of course, these simulations can never be 100% accurate, and the quality of the simulation is dependent on the quality of data and how accurately the model represents the physics of the car and tyres. But in a world of limited track testing, these tools are crucial for providing the initial first step in the set-up process: deciding on a direction to enter the race weekend with.