Formula E will think whether the Fanboost concept should remain in the sport for the Gen3 cars or not, Jamie Reigle confirms.
One of Formula E’s most significant features, making it a special series, is the Fanboost. It is an energy booster, which is given to the top 5 drivers of the fan voting, which means that the audience makes an impact on the racing aspect. According to Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle, Fanboost arose questions regarding the fulfillment of its pure purpose.
“Is Fanboost still serving the purpose that it was originally conceived with, in terms of providing that connectivity between the fans and the race product in a really authentic way? Whether it affects the outcome is a slightly different point but there are no other sports, there certainly weren’t when we started, where fans could have that direct impact on the sporting format or the sporting outcome,” he said.
Reigle also added that the sport had been working on improving the format in order to avoid any controversy.
“We’ve done a lot of work in the last year around making sure that the Fanboost concept has high integrity. For example, we stopped using Twitter as a voting platform because there were some concerns from some of the teams that it was open to manipulation.”
With the introduction of the Gen3 cars approaching, the necessity of keeping up with the Fanboost will be reconsidered. The reason for that is the attempt to define current goals and values of Formula E.
“What we’ve tried to do is refine the concept in the near term, I think we have to ask ourselves, as we go into Gen3: what are the core principles of Formula E and what are we trying to achieve?” Reigle commented.
“We have a responsibility to look at all those elements, to say ‘are they core and are they contributing to improve the experience for our fans, our guests,’ etc. And I don’t think there’s any sacred cows there.”
Another factor in the debate is whether Fanboost makes the perception of Formula E racing more complicated or not.
“Certainly for me, going into Gen3, these principles of simplicity and clarity so that the sport is intuitive as possible – you can still have an enormous amount of technology and sophistication in terms of race modeling and the energy management models – but as you think about trying to attract new users and for someone who’s not been around the championship when they watch for the first time, do they understand what’s going on?”
“Does Fanboost serve that? There is arguments that it does. On the other hand, does it make the race format as accessible as possible? I think I think there’s an open question about that.”
At the same time, Reigle admitted that the Fanboost idea would not be scrapped because of the criticism.
“We certainly won’t end it because some people whinge about it, to your point on detractors and naysayers. But I do think we have a responsibility to look very granularly at what it’s doing for us – and I say us collectively, the championship, the teams, and then see if we can evolve it.”