The all-electric cars are not the only unique thing about the FIA Formula E Championship. It’s also the only sport in the world that allows the fans to play an active role in influencing the outcome of the event.
This is through FanBoost an online voting system through which fans can chose to give their favourite driver extra power in the race.
How does it work?
FanBoost voting opens approximately one month before each ePrix. Fans can cast one vote, but that vote can be changed at any time until the vote closes an hour before the start of the race. Votes can be cast via www.fiaformulae.com or through the official App, which can be downloaded for Android or iOS.
The three drivers who receive the most votes are awarded FanBoost. The winners are announced on the grid 30 minutes before the start of the race.
How much extra power do they get?
The FanBoost winners receive a power boost of 30kw (roughly 40bhp) taking the power from 200bhp to 240bhp. The power boost lasts for five seconds and is activated via a lever behind the steering wheel. The winning drivers get the additional boost in both cars, giving them two shots at using the boost to make a crucial overtake.
The FanBoost can only be used once. Once the lever is pulled the additional power becomes available, and regardless of whether all five seconds are used, it cannot be used again.
Why is Formula E doing this?
“We want, for the first time, to make a sport accessible to the fans, interactive with the fans,” says Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag. “Many people talk about interactivity and they say everything is interactive, but how do you make something really interactive? Doing FanBoost. Giving a real advantage, giving more horsepower in the race to three drivers. And those three drivers can push a button and overtake one guy, but nobody is going to win a race. If the guy who has FanBoost is 17th, he’s not going to be able to win the race. We want to introduce this element of interaction between the fans and the sport and it’s the first time in history that this thing is in place.”
How do I know it’s not fixed?
In order to vote for FanBoost you have to register an account with Formula E – this is designed to prevent ‘robots’ from perverting the outcome. Also, the whole process is audited by PWC to ensure that the system is as secure as possible and that the entire procedure is fair and equal.
Who have been the winners so far?
In Putrajaya Katherine Legge, Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld were the winners of FanBoost. Make sure to boost your favourite right now.