FanBoost—where fans vote to give a driver an additional boost of power to use during an FIA Formula E Championship race—sets off no small amount of rage from purists who feel as if it’s a gimmick. However, drivers I’ve spoken with at this weekend’s Formula E race don’t seem to mind it, and series CEO Alejandro Agag says it’s staying for the long haul. So, let’s all vote for the guys who never get a FanBoost.
Agag explained to Jalopnik that FanBoost is meant to be a minor tweak that involves the fans directly into the race itself:
The FanBoost is a concept that pretends to alter the result of the race. That’s the whole point of it. We do it in a way that it doesn’t alter [the race] in a fundamental way—you don’t win the race only because you have the FanBoost. If you’re good enough, if you’re running second, you may eventually win the race because you have the FanBoost.
While it is indeed a minor tweak, my biggest beef with FanBoost has always been rooted in my desire to see something unexpected happen on track. By making it an online popularity contest, it inevitably goes to many of the guys who are already likely to win, just like in Agag’s example. That’s all fine, and the popular front-runners all seem very nice, but I’d love to see a random driver come out of nowhere and surprise us all, too. Why can’t they get that little bit of extra help?
So, I’ve figured out the best way to upset the system from within: vote for the guys who never, ever get a FanBoost. Dudes who didn’t bring a fanbase with them from Formula One or the World Endurance Championship. Non-locals. Good, hard-working also-rans of the mid-field.
The name most cited by Formula E staff as a never-FanBoosted driver was Venturi’s Maro Engel. Engel just struggled a bit with his car throughout Free Practice 1 for the Mexico City ePrix, going off a couple times into the runoff areas. The Formula E rookie could use a boost to drive back up from that! Maybe he’ll even go faster with a little love from the fans.
So, there we have it: I have figured out a way to reconcile FanBoost’s existence with my need for chaos and unpredictability. If you just want to watch the world burn, go on Formula E’s FanBoost page here and vote for Engel, or another similarly less widely loved driver.
Why are we using the system to let the drivers who already contend for a win have an easier time at it? It’s time for a good ol’ fashioned revolt.