Formula E Driver Fired From Team After Cheating In Sim Race [Update]

Audi Formula E racing driver, Daniel Abt, was found guilty of using a ringer for a Formula E event.

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Update: Following an initial suspension, Daniel Abt has been fired from Formula E racing team ABT Schaeffler Audi with immediate effect. Abt shared the news himself in an apology video concerning the cheating incident, where the driver states that he thought it would be funny to have a professional esports sim racer take his place in the online event.

"Shortly after the race, I realized myself that it did not end there and it suddenly went in a direction which I, myself, had not ever been able to even imagine in my dreams," Abt says in his video. "We did not think enough about the seriousness and the consequences of the situation."

Original story as follows:

News of foul play has hit the Formula E sim racing scene. Daniel Abt, racing under ABT Schaeffler Audi, was disqualified after cheating allegations against him were substantiated over the weekend.

Suspicions were raised about whether or not Abt was actually the driver behind the wheel for Saturday's Formula E Race at Home Challenge, with his competition being the first to raise the red flags. Fox Sports reported that two other racers, Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorn, echoed each other's concerns about Abt when his performance in the Challenge appeared markedly different from previous results.

The organizers of the Formula E Race at Home Challenge investigated the allegations from Abt's competitors and after cross-referencing IP addresses, were able to confirm that the esports racing driver had not been driving at the time in question.

Formula E's official ruling on the matter has resulted in the withdrawal of Abt's sixth-place position in the Formula E Challenge Grid competition. As Round 5 of the Race At Home Challenge was being held in support of UNICEF as per the tweet below, Abt has also been hit with a compulsory €10,000 donation.

The Formula E driver owned up to the cheating and responded by releasing a statement reported by The Race as follows:

“I would like to apologize to Formula E, all of the fans, my team and my fellow drivers for having called in outside help during the race on Saturday.

“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 organization. I am aware that my offence has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention.”

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(img source: Audi)

The driver assisting Abt during this debacle was Lorenz Hoerzing, a professional racing sim driver, and Hoerzing has since been banned from competing in future Formula E Challenge rounds as a consequence of what happened this past weekend. ABT Schaeffler Audi has not commented independently on Abt being disqualified after cheating.

Formula E fans who want to contribute to UNICEF's appeal to raise money for children affected by the coronavirus can do so using this Tiltify link here. With £50,610 raised so far and counting, hopefully the next round of the Race at Home challenge will be just as fruitful when it goes ahead this week without Abt's participation.

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