FanBoost has been a controversial part of the Formula E weekend since it was introduced at the first ePrix at Beijing in 2014. The idea was to be able to give your favourite driver a ‘boost’ of energy which would then help them during the all-electric races around global city centres. Unfortunately for FanBoost, bots soon became involved and the chance to win FanBoost became less about your fan engagement and more about how much money you had to pay to get you up the rankings.
Tom Dillmann certainly made a positive impression in the FIA Formula E Championship when he made his race debut around the streets of Paris several weeks ago, picking up four vital constructors’ points for Venturi GP in what seemed to be a one-off outing for the young Frenchman in the all-electric championship.
Since racing around the streets of the French capital, it has been confirmed that Dillmann has now secured a full-time race seat with the Monaco-based Formula E team starting in Berlin this weekend. This fortuitous opportunity presented itself after Stephane Sarrazin, whose seat Dillmann will be filling, left the team to drive for Renault-powered Techeetah after the quick departure of their driver Esteban Gutierrez. This driver change means that Dillmann will pair with German driver Maro Engel for the rest of the 2016/17 season.
Starting 15th on the grid in Paris, Daniel Abt drove one of the best races in his Formula E career to place his ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in P7 as the final laps of the Paris ePrix approached. He had been awarded Fanboost and overtaken a total of eight cars during the 49 lap race, making him a worthy contender for driver of the race.
Unfortunately Abt ran into trouble just three corners before the chequered flag. A battery management issue caused the car to come to an abrupt halt and ended his race meters from the finish line. Understandably, Abt was a broken man and although he was able to take several positives from the weekend in the heart of France’s capital city, the disappointment in the unreliability of the car hurt him deeply.
Jean-Eric Vergne felt his steering fail the lap before his race-ending incident, until the steering “broke completely” and resulted in the Frenchman ploughing into the barriers at Turn 13 during the Formula E Paris ePrix.
Sam Bird secured Super Pole in Paris last year, demonstrating fantastic performance around the Parisian streets, although a bad start resulted in a disappointing race for the British driver who could only manage a sixth place finish.
Looking ahead to this weekend and the return to the streets of Paris, Bird hopes to improve his result here from last April, however qualifying didn’t go quite as plan – Bird describing it as “the worst qualifying I have ever had in my career”. He qualified 18th with a 1:03.573, +1.402s off the pace of Buemi.
The FIA Formula E Championship is known for its fast-paced, action-packed race days. We are witness to two practice sessions, qualifying and a race all within a Saturday, in addition to the handful of fan engagement sessions that are scattered through out the day for visitors of the all-electric racing series.
These crazy schedules have always been a challenge for the drivers and teams in the sport. It tests the stamina of the racing drivers and the displays the skill the mechanics and engineers have in order to get a car up and running in such a short space of time, as well as fixing any damaged sustained during a session.
Mitch Evans is a cheeky Kiwi that at the age of just 22, is the youngest Formula E driver on the current grid. Driving for British team Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Evans has proved himself to be a huge talent behind the wheel of his all-electric Jaguar I-TYPE, scoring championship points in the past two consecutive races. Despite only competing in his and the team’s fifth Formula E ePrix over the weekend, the former GP2 race winner has made the transition into Formula E and it’s fair to say his performance is looking, well electric.