What is FANBOOST?
Fans of the Formula E had the opportunity to vote for their favorite driver from 2014 to 2022 in order to give them an advantage in the race. The FANBOOST was abolished at the end of the Gen2 era (2021/22 season).
After a multi-day online voting period, FANBOOST was made available to the five drivers with the most votes. The winners were allowed to activate an additional 100 kJ of energy once in the second half of the race (after 22 minutes) to overtake or defend themselves. They could decide whether to use a short but effective power burst (240-250 kW) or a longer sprint with less power.
Since the 2018/19 season, the FANBOOST has provided drivers with a power window between 240 and 250 kW. If the power output from the battery fell below 240 kW after activation, the FANBOOST was considered used up, even if not all 100 kJ of energy was used.
Since season 8, FANBOOST could no longer be activated while the vehicle was in Attack Mode. As with Attack Mode, fans could also visually recognize the activation of the FANBOOST through purple LEDs that lit up on the halo system above the cockpit.
How was the voting conducted?
Fans had various options to vote for their favorite driver. Formula E offered both its central FANBOOST website and the official smartphone app (iOS or Android) for voting. Additionally, fans could vote on the social media platform Twitter using a specific hashtag (#FANBOOST #FirstnameLastname). Each user was allowed to vote once per option per day.
In what time period could fans vote?
The voting was usually opened a few days before an E-Prix. After the results of the voting were announced 20 minutes before the start of the race in season 1, fans had the chance to vote during the race from the second year onwards. Until the start of the fifth season, voting was possible in the first six minutes of an E-Prix, which was later extended to the first 15 minutes. After this deadline, Formula E announced the results live on the TV world feed.
Was the voting process secure against manipulation?
Formula E collaborated with the company PricewaterhouseCoopers to ensure a secure voting and vote-counting process. However, there were still questionable results. As an analysis of the source code of the FANBOOST website revealed, the voting results were apparently heavily manipulated by bots at the London ePrix in 2016 - most likely not the only case of manipulation.
Fans and drivers publicly complained about the lack of transparency in the voting process. Despite this, Formula E held onto the FANBOOST system until the end of 2022, although the series considered abolishing the feature for the first time in 2019, as fans had shifted their focus to the new Attack Mode. Since the start of the Gen3 racing era, FANBOOST was abolished.