Seeing as real-life racing has been suspended due the Covid-19 pandemic, Formula E started its very own series of virtual races in rFactor 2 to keep up the racing season online. The Race At Home Challenge features actual Formula E drivers as well as esports players, competing together to keep fans entertained and raise money for Unicef. But alas, one driver went ahead and tried to cheat the system, getting an imposter to drive in his place at this weekend’s event.
The culprit, Audi driver Daniel Abt, has been disqualified from the race after getting professional sim racer, Lorenz Hoerzing, to drive for him. Abt has also been dropped by Audi, while Hoerzing has been straight up banned from the Race At Home Challenge, and was stripped of his placing in the previous Formula E Berlin race.
According to The Race, Abt was accused by two other racers of not actually being behind his own wheel. Formula E organisers then investigated Abt’s IP address, confirming their suspicions. I’m not surprised people were wary of him, you can see “Abt” not-so-subtly covering his face in the footage from the live stream below.
After being found out, Abt admitted to his transgression, saying: “I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I’m especially sorry about this, because I know how much work has gone into this project on the part of the Formula E organisation.
“I am aware that my offence has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention.”
Audi followed up with a statement today, condemning his actions and confirming his suspension from the team:
“Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities for Audi – this applies to all activities the brand is involved in without exception. For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt with immediate effect.”