Formula E professional driver Daniel Abt got expelled by Audi for cheating in a virtual race.
Teaser source: FIA Formula E / KAgamemnon License
Update from Tuesday, May 26, 16:30 CEST:
According to an official announcement by Formula E, Audi decided to punish Daniel Abt even further for his cheating in the Race at Home Challenge. The 27-year-old German will be removed from Audi’s racing team for his behavior and is therefore not allowed to start for the brand at Formula E or other races ever again.
The decision comes as a surprise, since Abt had already received a punishment for his actions. The driver himself announced via Twitter, that he will speak out in a video statement later on Tuesday.
Original news from Monday, May 25, 13:15 CEST:
Daniel Abt has been involved in an imposter scandal in Race 5 of the Formula E Race at Home Challenge. The German driver confirmed that esports racer Lorenz Hörzing was competing under his name. Abt was consequently disqualified from the race, all the points he’s gained so far in the competition were deleted. He was also fined a €10,000 donation to charity.
Lorenz Hörzing, who also races in the “Challenger Series” of Formula E Race at Home Challenge, has been suspended from all upcoming races of the series.
Sudden improvement and a hidden face
After Daniel Abt surprisingly took second place in qualifying at Berlin Tempelhof, drivers and hosts were impressed by the sudden improvement of the German. In the previous events, Abt’s best qualifying result was a ninth place. His best race result was P13 in Hongkong.
Abt kept his pace from qualifying and made it to the podium in the race. But the drivers and viewers were very suspicious whether it really was Abt driving the Audi.
Besides his sudden improvement, people were very suspicious about Abt’s microphone constantly hiding his face during the race.
“To be honest, I’m questioning if it was really Daniel in the car,” Stoffel Vandoorne said after the race. Daniel Abt did not join the post-race interviews because of “connection issues”.
The organizers of the series quickly started investigating the case and proved it was not Daniel Abt racing in the Audi. On Sunday morning, the German confirmed his fraud and apologized in an official statement.
“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.”
So far, Audi Formula E team has not released a statement regarding the events of this weekend.
What do you think about this incident? Tweet us your thoughts @NitroNights!