Audi have suspended Formula E racer Daniel Abt after he got a professional gamer to play under his name in an esports version of the series.
Abt, 27, had admitted the deception in Saturday’s Formula E Race at Home Challenge Series, saying he had not taken it “as seriously as I should”.
“Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities,” said Audi.
“For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt.”
Abt has also been fined 10,000 euros (£8,890).
His third-place finish had raised suspicions among fellow competitors after he had failed to score a single point in the previous four rounds of the esports series.
A video feed of all of the drivers is available throughout the race, but Abt’s face was obscured. It was later revealed that professional gamer Lorenz Horzing had been behind the virtual wheel.
Matt Warwick, BBC Sport
When does a videogame stop being a bit of fun and become considered a proper sport? When there’s money involved.
Formula E’s Race At Home Challenge is an eracing version of the ‘real life’ sport which raises money for charity and involves many of the sponsors from the day job.
Daniel Abt has driven in Formula E since it began in 2014, with two race wins to his name during that time, but he is often beaten by team-mate Lucas di Grassi.
Audi are said to be furious, but the German driver has more power than most would do in this situation as his wealthy family performance car-tuning company is involved in running the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team.
Abt’s deception will have initiated some awkward conversations throughout the team’s hierarchy.