Formula E’s $1 million eRace in Las Vegas saw a fanboost glitch decide the race before the result was changed after the chequered flag.
Last night saw arguably one of the most important moments in sim-racing history when 20 Formula E drivers raced against 10 professional sim-racers in Las Vegas for a $1 million prize pot.
Things didn’t go entirely to plan though.
Sim-racer Bono Huis bagged $25,000 for pole position and pretty much raced off into the distance, looking unstoppable out in front ahead of Formula E driver Felix Rosenqvist, who was the only pro-driver to be able to challenge the sim-racers.
That all changed though during Fanboost. The controversial ‘popularity contest’ boost system used in the real Formula E that proved to be even more controversial in the virtual world.
Finland’s Olli Pahkala was one of three lucky drivers to get Fanboost but rather than it being a small power increase for a few laps, like in the real Formula E, his made him almost three-seconds-a-lap quicker! For six laps!
During the pitstops, Pahkala unsurprisingly leapfrogged Huis and Rosenqvist thanks to his huge power advantage and went on to win the race and seemingly the $200,000 jackpot for winning the race.
Pahkala was pretty reserved in his celebrations, maybe because he was Finnish, but maybe also because he knew something wasn’t quite right. And so did everyone else.
— Aarav (@_aarava) January 8, 2017
Huis meanwhile was absolutely livid, perhaps understandably when he’d been just been shafted out of an extra $100,000 because of a computer glitch.
What proceeded that was a cringeworthy podium ceremony where Huis almost refused to collect his 2nd place trophy and had a face like Daniel Ricciardo during last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, while Pahkala tried to celebrate but deep down knowing he didn’t really deserve it.
Just like in real racing though from time to time, the result was overturned when the organises saw their mistake. Pahkala dropped down to 3rd with a 12 second penalty, giving Huis the win and Rosenqvist second place.
— FIA Formula E (@FIAformulaE) January 8, 2017
So it may have been controversial and confusing but hey, aren’t most F1 races these days?