One of the fun and unique things about Formula E is their FanBoost initiative, which encourages fans to use social media and apps to influence racing action. I’ve seen this in action in a couple of races and on replay, and have actually voted already for this weekend’s first round in Hong Kong, but it occurred to me that I wasn't really confident what I was doing.
So, after a little research, here’s a quick start guide to FanBoost for anyone in a similar position.
Who, what and why?
Fans are given the chance to vote for their favourite driver using hashtags (on Twitter) or voting buttons (within the official app), and each vote contributes to a FanBoost leaderboard for each race.
The three drivers with the most votes when the voting closes earn an extra power boost, which can be used during the race. This is a fabulous way to encourage drivers to interact with their fans and it can make a difference. Sebastién Buemi and Lucas di Grassi have each won the fanboost 18 times in Formula E’s short history, and both are champions of the sport.
The boost comes in the form of an additional 100kJ of energy, that can only be used in one burst of five seconds - so timing is everything. It can also only be used on the second car, so will inevitably come during the latter and more crucial half of the race. The regulations state drivers have to be informed if they have earned a boost no more than 15 minutes into a race, so they can incorporate this into their strategy.
How you can vote
There are a handful of ways: either via Twitter, by tweeting the hashtag #FanBoost plus the hashtag for your chosen driver (see below for a full list). That lets the world know who you’re voting for and increases the element of competition to the whole thing. If you’d prefer, you can also vote on Formula E’s official app or via the dedicated portion of their website. You can only log in using either Twitter, Facebook or Weibo credentials, which is limiting, but I guess they are trying to ensure FanBoost is a social activity.
You can vote once each day via each voting method during the build up to the race, and the amount of time you have to do so is all centered around the number six. You have six days prior to the race to make your vote count, and voting closes six minutes before the race starts. There is a leaderboard available that refreshes every hour – at the time of writing, Kamui Kobayashi is storming it – and the results are revealed live before the race begins.
The only thing that’s not clear to me is how the voting works for races across consecutive days, such as this weekend where round one is on Saturday and round two on Sunday. It doesn’t seem fair for most races to have six days of voting but a handful less than 24 hours.
Is it legit?
Formula E organisers have partnered with Telescope to count and verify the votes. They’re well known in the industry for successfully running and completing voting campaigns and have worked for American Idol and The Voice, as well as NBA and NASCAR in sports.
Who should I vote for?
That is, of course, entirely up to you. When FanBoost first emerged, it was perceived as a gimmick and occasionally did the chosen drivers more harm than good. The extra boost of power in the twisting city circuits wasn’t always the bonus it was supposed to be. Having been refined and tweaked over the course of three seasons, the system is working well and starting to turn its reputation around.
I’m sure any of the drivers would be happy to earn the boost, not only for the extra power they’ll get on race day, but to know they’ve got some strong support from the viewers at home.
|Lucas di Grassi||#LucasdiGrassi|
|Antonio Felix da Costa||#AntonioFelixdaCosta|
|Nelson Piquet Jr.||#NelsonPiquetJr|
Remember to tweet #FanBoost plus the driver you support. By way of example you could perhaps tweet something like this. If you like.
Cast your vote and let us know who you’ve chosen and why!