Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has responded to Daniel Abt’s claims that Fanboost’s fan voting platform is “a catastrophe” and that “there is something wrong” with the current system.
The Audi Sport driver ABT Schaeffler made the claims on his own video blog after the Santiago E-Prix last weekend. Abt, who is one of the most active online personalities in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship paddock, has had several Fanboost votes in the past.
“The Fanboost voting system is constantly monitored and revised to ensure user verification and credible results,” said Agag.
“We have continued to improve the system since it was implemented in the first season of Formula E, adding more layers of authentication to the voting process after suggestions from the teams. “Well, more than a million fans voted for their favorite driver and we see that number grow as the series’ popularity increases. “The system is very reliable and drivers should not waste time questioning the validity of Fanboost.”
Agag stated that he and Abt had spoken this week and that the Audi driver had called the head of the series to apologize. The Fanboost is an extra 100kJ of power that can be used in a power window for 190kW at 200kW, from the regular racing output of 180kW.
Abt believes that rivals or companies working with some of its competitors are exploring the system. It is run by a real-time voting company called Telescope, which ran similar voting systems on TV shows as Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. “We were ahead [with votes for last week’s Santiago race] all the time, but suddenly, some drivers get a lot of votes overnight,” Abt said in his blog last Tuesday.
“I’m not saying this because I’m losing forgiveness, I’m saying this because I know it – someone told me about it. There is definitely something wrong”.
“Strangely, all the votes are from 12 cities in China. They must have an incredible fan base there. This is a catastrophe. I was really upset about it. “
Fanboost gives three drivers the opportunity to get another 100kJ of power that is applied in a power range of 190kW to 200kW during the race. Voting takes place through the official application of Formula E and on Twitter.
Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi and José Maria López received the majority of votes in Santiago and scored 23 percent, 21 percent and 18 percent respectively. Abt finished in fifth place with nine percent.
There have been long rumors in Formula E that some drivers, or parties that work for drivers and teams, have taken advantage of automated systems, some of which are known as “voting bots” or “computer macros.”
Such systems can allow ‘human-assisted automation’. However, Formula E and the Telescope have always maintained that they have multi-layered procedures in place to combat any such nefarious activity when votes are cast.
“It is not surprising that the drivers with more Fanboost votes are some of the best-known names, or those who fight for victories and championships like Buemi, Vergne, di Grassi or Piquet” added Agag.
“Fans generally tend to vote for riders in the fight ahead, wanting to influence the image of the podium”.
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