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Di Grassi Pushing for Changes to Fanboost System

Lucas di Grassi would like to see some modifications to the current Fanboost procedure…

Photo: Formula E

Reigning ABB FIA Formula E Champion Lucas di Grassi says he’d like to see Fanboost developed in future seasons.

The current system allows fans to vote via various social media channels to give drivers an extra in-race power boosts, with voting beginning six days prior to each event and closing after the opening six minutes of each race.

The three-winning Fanboost drivers each receive an extra 100 kJ of energy to be used in a power window between 180 kW and 200 kW.

The system, however, has been criticized by several teams and drivers in the past, most notably by Daniel Abt, whose unsubstantiated protestations were quickly rebuked by Formula E via a statement from its founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

However, since then, e-racing365 has spoken to several drivers who allege that some teams, partners and drivers are actively enhancing their votes using ‘automated robots’, particularly in densely populated Chinese cities.

The claims have, as yet, been unfounded.

“Of course there are ways of improving it, but I would keep the level of, let’s say, sporting impact, as low as possible,” di Grassi told e-racing365.

The Brazilian explained that he would be in favor of a system whereby all drivers get some Fanboost.

“I would look at some modifications such as giving every driver three boosts,” he said.

“The first two of these are given if you reach a certain level, which means everyone pushes for it [the votes], not only the top-three, so it is not a competition.”

A system which would give all drivers Fanboost, but the top-three voted drivers an extra boost, has been discussed for the future, which would solve the issue of some drivers not actively engaging in the system’s philosophy.

“There must be a way that everyone pushes online so that if everyone gets the votes and after a certain threshold they get the final boost,” di Grassi said.

Di Grassi is also in favor of the previous race’s Fanboost winners sitting out the following event.

“What I see now is that drivers, who never win Fanboost, never push for it because they know they don’t win and that is not fair,” he said.

“Either you block the guys who won it the race before from the next one, which is what they do in Brazilian stock cars; or you define thresholds and then people can get more boosts.”

Blockchain Could Be Accuracy Answer

E-racing365 understands that stricter policing of Fanboost is also being looked at, with the possibility of employing blockchain technology to police potential manipulation.

“I am not a specialist on data analysis or fake accounts and how you can protect against this, but normally the votes, the normal votes, happen through a third party security problem,” said di Grassi.

“For example in Stock Car Brasil, you have to log in on Facebook. You have to vote through it, so you have to be in Facebook to vote it.

“Using Blockchain technology could be good, but we will have to see if it could be considered.”

It’s believed that that Formula E is not expected to release any potential modification plans to the system until October at the earliest.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Old Trombone

    May 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Mr Agag MUST apologize to Abt for denying him. Any use of block chain or other cheat-defeats is automatic admission that Abt was correct in the first place.

    Denial is the most wrong form of politics today. As Bloomberg said, it is worse than any other political act going on right now.

    Agag, please please please, don’t become the 21stC Bernie.

  2. Old Trombone

    May 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    FE is making its name as an engineering sport. And then there is Fanboost. Let’s fix it. Forget it. Dump it. Get rid of it. If you want 21stC innovative Motorsport, then have robot co-drivers. Do Grassi can do the start and finish stints, and the center stint can be done by his car. It will be great to compare lap times, and watch Rosenqvist do a few laps against DiGrassi’s car before his hand-over stop.

    • paco

      May 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      that would actually be really cool from an engineering point of view

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