Once the cars are built the students need to problem solve in order to make their car do well in the final class competition. The students will need to align their cars, adjust the tension of the rubber band, check for any wiring problems, and reduce friction as much as possible. I do have the students take the cars home to be painted and decal-ed if they choose to do so. Once the cars are running good I have them run a double elimination tournament. You could use a digital timer or just run them side by side. I have five classes so at the end I take the top two out of each class and run a final competition in the technology lab along with a pizza party.
This tech project takes about 5 weeks to complete, and my end of the year class survey says it is the favorite project that we do in class. One of the advantages of the F1 car in comparison to the CO2 Dragsters, and MagLev is that the students can take them home and use them because you don't need a specialized track to run on. Plus they are less expensive.
On the www.techedlearning.com site there are step by step video instructions on how to build the car, you can see them here. The F1 webpage will continue to grow and improve over the next year as more educational items are added to it. If you have anything to add please comment. I will be adding some more information on the jigs used to make the wheels.
Below is a video that our class made. As you can see this is an older car with the handmade battery packs. The updated design cars are much more reliable, easier to build, and faster too.