Formula car racing is about to get a bit more interactive this year as the all-electric Formula E lets fans give an extra boost to their favorite teams through social media interaction.

Formula E car Formula E racers get a power boost from social media interaction

The FIA Formula One’s 2014 season rule changes made a drastic shift from 2.4-liter V8 engines to turbocharged 1.6 liter V6 hybrid engines. One big complaint among fans is that the new engine configuration produced an underwhelming whirr that finds on-track and television spectators longing for the familiar noise that the Formula cars of the olden days produced.

For those who get their racing high from the high-pitched motor sounds, there’s something to look forward to: Formula E. The new all-electric series launching in September will pit 10 teams against each other, with open-wheel racecars powered by electric Renault motors. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag even compares the sound emanating from the electric racecars to that of podracers in the Star Wars series, which may gain Formula E added appeal for Sci-Fi fans.

But more than the thrill of watching cars zoom by at 150 mph speeds, Formula E offers fans an opportunity to participate in the actual race through social media. According to Agag, the races will feature social media interactivity. During the race, the five teams with the most engagement on Twitter and the most votes will get a few seconds’ extra Push-to-Pass boost, which could make a big difference during overtaking maneuvers, especially given limited battery capacities. It can be noted that given the battery limitations, Formula E cars will be operating under power-saving mode during most of the race, with the option to get a boost to full-power for a few seconds while overtaking.

While operating under sanction of the FIA — the same organization that runs Formula One — the new series aims to attract a younger demographic, admits Agag. “We hope to connect with them through our gaming platform and by implementing an aggressive social media strategy,” he told The Financialist in an interview this March. The end-goal: to get people buying electric cars. “If we do manage to connect with them … the hope is that they will buy an electric vehicle when it comes time to buy their first car.”

Source: Gizmodo Australia