Daniel Abt has been suspended from the Audi Formula E team after cheating in a charity esports event at the weekend.
Audi’s Formula E factory driver Daniel Abt has been formally suspended by Audi, after being disqualified from the Formula E ‘Race at Home’ challenge over the weekend. Abt was also ordered to pay €10,000 to charity.
Abt was discovered to have not taken part in the event at all. Instead, he organised for professional online racer Lorenz Hoerzing, to come to his home and race in his place under his name. On his live stream, a microphone was placed in such a way that it obscured Hoerzing’s face.
Abt’s performance in the race raised suspicions, due to being more competitive than usual, with Mercedes factory driver Stoffel Vandoorne voicing his concerns on Twitch.
Abt later issued an apology, saying “I did not take it as seriously as I should have”, while his ringer, pro gamer Lorenz Hoerzing, was disqualified from all future rounds of the separate Challenge Grid competition.
On Tuesday, Audi issued a statement saying Abt had been suspended from his role in the team due to his actions.
“Daniel Abt did not drive his car in qualifying and the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on May 23 himself, but let a professional sim-racer do so,” the Audi statement said. “He directly apologised for this on the following day and accepted the disqualification.
“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.”
The Audi Formula E team is run by Audi tuning and motorsports specialists Abt Sportline, which is owned by Abt’s father, Hans-Jurgen Abt.
Organisers of the real-life Formula E season are hoping to get the 2019-2020 championship back underway in July.
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