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Formula E to scrap Fan Boost

Fan Boost might be scrapped from Formula E weekend following years of controversy

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Formula E has reportedly reached an agreement with the teams and promoters to scrap the Fan Boost initiative, which made up part of the series since its inaugural in 2014.

Formula E might scrap Fan Boost (Image Credit: Formula E Fan Boost)

The Race revealed that this will probably be welcomed by most teams making up the Gen3 era grid. Formula E is always looking for initiative ways to make its competition authentic. The sporting format of this new era is yet to be released by the FIA. It is expected to include details about the fast-charging pitstops and the attack mode, which is a key feature of E-Prix and is expected to stay within the sport.

What is Fan Boost?

In Formula E, fans are allowed to vote for their favourite drivers in the week leading up to the Grand Prix. The drivers with the most votes are given a power boost, titled Fan Boost, which helps them at some point during the race.

From 2015/16, fans were allowed to vote during the first six minutes of the E-Prix. The top five would be given 100kKJ extra which gives out a maximum of 200kW during a race.

This concept brought many controversies in the sport, with some drivers claiming that the votes are being manipulated. It is an unfair system, as some drivers are more popular than others, and so they tend to be regular top choices.

However, other teams, which might be in less-winning cars, might not be favoured so much by the fans, and that served as a step back from them. Especially, when someone with a highly-developed car, just got extra energy.

In 2022, the following drivers earned themselves a fan boost during an E-Prix weekend:

  • Stoffel Vandoorne – 16
  • Antonio Felix da Costa – 15
  • Jean-Eric Vergne – 11
  • Nyck de Vries – 9
  • Mitch Evans – 7
  • Lucas di Grassi – 7
  • Edoardo Mortara – 7
  • Antonio Giovinazzi – 6
  • Oliver Rowland – 1
  • Andre Lotterer 1

This meant that 12 out of 22 drivers were left without a fan boost all season, putting them at a disadvantage. With 16 rounds in Season 8, this also means that the World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne earned himself a fan boost in every race.

Comments from Daniel Abt

In 2018, Audi driver Daniel Abt spoke out on his social media as he was “fed up to the back teeth” with the Fan Boost. In his opinion, he thought that “there are some drivers who managed to cheat a bit.

He said: “I’m not saying it because I’m a sore loser, I’m saying it because I know it – somebody told me about it. Definitely there’s something wrong. Strangely, all the votes are from 12 cities in China, so they must have an awesome fanbase there. Formula E knows about it, but they can’t do anything because they cannot prove it properly. This is a catastrophe. I was getting really upset about it.”

CEO Alejandro Agag could not stay silent about Abt’s comments and was forced to respond. He claimed that the system was being monitored and ensured that they were receiving credible results and not votes from internet bots.

He said: “We’ve continued to improve the system since it was implemented in the first-ever season of Formula E, adding further layers of authentication to the voting process following suggestions from the teams.”

Featured Image Credit: Formula E Official Twitter

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