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FE - Di Grassi calls for more FanBoost changes

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Championship contender has Lucas di Grassi called for more changes to Formula E’s FanBoost for season three

On the eve of the Formula E season finale in London’s Battersea Park, championship leader Lucas di Grassi called for the series to reassess the FanBoost concept, particularly with a view to the counting of votes.

“FanBoost has been behaving a little bit weird sometimes,” di Grassi said in Battersea Park on Friday, “especially when you count the social media votes. Which, in the end, is what engages with the fans. For me, if it was my call for next year, I would have FanBoost [votes] counted only on social media, so it’s very easy to look. 

“It’s where the fans actually engage with us, it’s a more straightforward way of communicating with the fans. Don’t get me wrong - FanBoost is a great concept, I think FanBoost is a really nice thank you from Formula E, and it should stay for season three and beyond. But there are other ways of making it more related to the fans. Maybe set up opening it ten days before the race - there are other ways to discuss, to improve it in some areas.

“There was already improvement from season one to two, which is that FanBoost doesn’t count for fastest lap, and so on and so on, which was a big improvement. I think Formula E is already discussing it, and they have all the support from the drivers to keep this nice feature - which is important - but don’t let it decide races.

“At the same time, everybody wants to have it. It’s just a small help - nobody has ever had a clear result because of FanBoost so I think this is the way forward.”

Di Grassi’s comments come following a minor FanBoost controversy in Formula E, sparked by the Brazilian racer. In late June the Abt Audi Sport driver voiced his concerns that the drivers’ championship could be decided through the rigging of FanBoost votes.

Adding to the conversation in Battersea was dams and Renault e.dams co-founder Jean-Paul Driot.

“Regarding the FanBoost I would like to come back on one point,” Driot said. “We all agree that FanBoost is very good for Formula E, but after what happened in Mexico - where the FanBoost helped one driver to win the race - we discussed this matter in the Sporting Working Group with the FIA.

“We all decided that FanBoost was important, and we will carry on with it, but we don’t want FanBoost to interfere with the sporting side of the race. It’s a promotional thing, and when you see that some results are changed because of the FanBoost, this is something which is against sport. This is why we will carry on with it, but we are going to control it a little bit better.

“That has been discussed extensively with the FIA and the Sporting Working Group where we have team representatives,” Driot asserted. “After the discussions we had, between the first season and the second season we reduced the impact of the FanBoost on the power, and the length of the FanBoost used.

“The thing is that it’s a little help, but it doesn’t give you a definite help. It helps you to be a little bit more aggressive than perhaps to get through, but it’s not giving you the right of pushing a button and knowing that whatever happens you are going to be in front.”