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One of my characters wants to participate in a medieval chariot race. The catch is, they use magical chariots that can go at significant speeds, similar to today’s street cars.

So he and his team of 200 people set out to build a formula 1 car(these people came from our universe which is now a sci-fi one). They already have the necessary materials. They also have the blueprints for the original design and the required tools. The character and his team currently have the technology of the 1950’s.

To supplement the lack of tools to build this formula 1 car, they have a wizard friend with precise metal bending skills.

Could they realistically complete this in a timespan of a month?

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    $\begingroup$ Do any of those people have car making experience? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Feb 21 '20 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ The real catch is that they have magical roads on which those magical chariots and F1 cars which have completely rigid suspensions can actually travel at high speeds without shattering into little pieces. (And you may be grossly underestimating the number of tools needed. For example, have you given a thought of how to make F1 car tyres? Or the outside shell of the car? Or the fuel?) (Fun detail: An F1 car simply cannot run on any road which is not an F1 circuit, because its ground clearance is too small.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Feb 21 '20 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I am aware of an F1 car’s need for a perfectly flat road which is why I emphasized magic chariots. $\endgroup$ Feb 21 '20 at 1:01

A lot depends on what "era" you are looking at. A Formula 1 race car from the 1930's could be built relatively easily with fairly simple technology, metalwork for the body, mechanical brakes, leaf springs, etc. I am assuming that the power is supplied by some sort of magic, since building an internal combustion engine will require far more skillsets and "tools to make the tools" than likely possible with only a month.

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1930 era F1 car

Post war cars into the 1960's have much more advanced systems, including independent suspensions, hydraulic brakes and are starting to do serious investigation into aerodynamics, and often have elaborate lightweight "birdcage" frames made up of welded tubing. Once again, this requires more skillsets (adjusting the suspension is a new skill which was not as evident in a 1930 era car, for example). Engine technology was also increasing rapidly, including fuel injection.

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The jump from the late 1930 era Auto Union to...

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...a 1960 era Ferrari is just tremendous

The 1970's and 80's really saw an explosion in technology, from aerodynamics to active suspensions to turbocharged engines, as well as significant improvements in driver safety. Chassis construction moved to monocoque "tubs" and incorporating the engine block as a stressed member to make the chassis stronger and lighter. We actually don't see many of these improvements today, as the governing bodies banned or severely restricted many of these technologies in the interest of keeping the races competitive and smaller teams (without the sorts of research budgets that Lotus, Renault or TAG could bring to bear) viable.

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1987 Lotus 99T with active suspension and aerodynamic "tunnels" under the chassis

Modern cars are essentially computer operated in many aspects, and have devices like KERS (Kinetic Energy Recuperation System) to recover some of the braking energy and feed it back when accelerating out of a corner. Team mechanics can monitor hundreds of channels of information about the car as it is running, and although the current rules do not allow the car to be accessed and modified electronically in motion, it is theoretically quite possible to adjust the suspension or angle of aerodynamic aids based on these inputs as the car is in motion.

So your team will need to know and understand a great many different technologies, materials science and aerodynamics, as well as engine technology, in order to build something as complex as a race car, and more importantly, to tune and adjust it for peak performance on any particular track.

  • $\begingroup$ Let’s say they have all the necessary know how to build a F1 car. They also have precision tools, the few tools that they don’t have can be supplemented by their wizard friend who can “metal-bend” tiny pieces. The car I wanted them to build is a 1995 Ferrari complete with high revving V12. What I got from your answer is that this is highly improbable and would need several years if I had to use precision tools. What abilities would my metal bending wizard need to have to be able to create the f1 car’s parts? $\endgroup$ Feb 21 '20 at 2:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Inthenameofthestory Probably the ability to transmutate your metals into different metals. And to cast them into different shapes. And probably some super fine/accurate measurement ability because they wont have the tools to create a meter standard. $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Feb 21 '20 at 2:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Inthenameofthestory If they have only 1950's technology, 200 people is several orders of magnitude to little to have all the know how required to build a 1995 racing car. $\endgroup$
    – quarague
    Feb 21 '20 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ They'll have to make fuel too. Plastics, rubber, glass, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Innovine
    Feb 21 '20 at 12:43

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