What they WON'T have is targets that are camouflaged or hard to find (like real life) because that would require loitering and slow passes.
...or satellite surveillance, reconnaissance drones, or integrated targeting from ground troops, which the F-35 is built to work with, where the A-10 has to rely on the pilot's eyesight.
But it can't carry anywhere near the payload of the A10 (nor retain it's vaunted stealthiness if it carries external stores) to deal with target after target after target.
The Warthog has 11 hardpoints and a cannon with no stealth. The F-35 has 10 hardpoints and a cannon, with reduced (but still some) stealth.
There may a single gun-specific target that the F35 can cheerfully spatter with it's 4 seconds' worth of ammunition. The A10s 30+ seconds of ammunition will not be needed.
...and it may not be needed on a battlefield anymore, either.
...the A10, it was built to fly over (and survive) the most intensive Cold-War Soviet Armor Wave attacks. Iraqi ground fire proved this time and again that the A-10 was astonishingly rugged.
That's important if you're limited to flying low and slow. If you aren't in range of ground fire, you don't need to survive it.
they'll have a "strike" by some Red Force aggressors to "prove" the A-10 can't hold it's own in air-to-air (never mind that in actual deployment, they should be being covered by...F-35s)
Or the escort could just take care of the mission on its own, rather than needing twice the logistics and equipment to run the mission.
Maybe have FIVE A-10s simultaneously completing courses while 1 F-35 has to cover them all as well?
Sure, and we'll also include the cost of five times the maintenance, five times the crew, five times the supplies, and five times the pilots put in harm's way.
Tell you what: let the ARMY design the test. Then we'll see.
The Army won't be flying the plane. The Army won't care about the real logistics of executing the mission, and the Army won't be concerned with anything other than whether the bullets go where they point. That's great for making the grunts feel comfortable, but modern wars are fought with logistics.