Daniel Abt has been fined for using a professional sim racer as a ringer in Formula E’s Esport championship.
The Audi driver had not scored points in the opening four rounds of the Formula E Race at Home Challenge Series and raised suspicions among rivals when he qualified second and finished third for Saturday’s race at the virtual Flughafenn Tempelhof.
“Really not happy here because that was not Daniel driving the car himself, and he messed up everything. That was ridiculous,” said Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished one place ahead of Abt. “I’m questioning if it was really Daniel in the car.”
Abt’s video camera was on during the race, but the driver’s face was obscured by a microphone. According to reports, a Formula E investigation revealed discrepancies in IP addresses, and ultimately determined that 18-year-old pro sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing had been driving in Abt’s place. Abt was disqualified, stripped of all of his points, and fined 10,000 euros, which will be donated to charity.
“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,” said Abt, who has been racing in Formula E since 2014.
“I did not take it as seriously as I should have. I am aware that my offence has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention.”
Hoerzing has been banned from the Race at Home series.