One of Formula E’s much-maligned gimmicks might just be laid to rest this year. The Race reports that FanBoost is set to die with the introduction of the Gen3 cars as a way to add “authenticity” to the racing product. I know I’m not alone when I say it’s about damn time.
Basically, FanBoost was a way for fans to vote for their favorite drivers, and the drivers with the most votes would have a little extra power for brief periods during the race, enabling them to have a slight advantage over the competition.
As a concept, FanBoost was interesting. The electric technology used in FE enabled drivers to have access to more power that could be provided remotely, and it also provided fans with a tangible way to impact the race.
But FanBoost was fraught with issues. During its first seasons, drivers who were awarded FanBoost all seemed to undergo some weird, race-ending event, leading fans to speculate that there was a “FanBoost curse.” Further, drivers were vaguely accused of buying bot votes to inflate their FanBoost numbers, which kind of took away from the whole “fan interaction” thing.
Above all, though, it was a gimmick, and Formula E has suffered enough from a long string of gimmicks. The series has long needed to reclaim its legitimacy by more strongly emphasizing the racing format, and getting rid of FanBoost is a very easy place to start.
New Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle noted last year that he was interested in getting rid of FanBoost, and The Race notes the decision to scrap it was “unanimous” between teams and promoters and that it has been part of ongoing discussions regarding season nine’s racing format. We should hear more about those regulations in the coming days.