Abt suspended by Audi for using ringer in Esports FE race

Abt suspended by Audi for using ringer in Esports FE race

The German Formula E driver announced on Tuesday that Audi has dropped him from its racing team after it was revealed that he cheated in an esports charity event over the weekend.

The races have been taking place at the weekend and they see professional racing auto drivers competing on virtual versions of real racetracks.

Abt's "ringer", pro gamer Lorenz Hoerzing, was disqualified from all future rounds of the separate Challenge Grid competition. "I did not take it as seriously as I should have", he said in a statement shortly after. I am especially sorry about this, because I know how much work has gone into this project on the part of the Formula E organisation. Moreover, Abt didn't partake in post-race interviews, and though his webcam had been on during the race, his face was obscured.

"Daniel Abt did not drive his auto in qualifying and the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on 23rd May himself, but let a professional sim-racer do so".

Earlier on Tuesday, Audi released a statement saying they had suspended Abt and making clear they did not see the amusing side.

Audi said in an earlier statement that "integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules" were top priorities.

With no real-life electric vehicle racing likely to take place for at least the next couple of months, since mid-April Formula-E has been hosting official online races as part of its "Race at Home Challenge". "In addition, I will donate 10,000 Euros to a charitable project". However, "it was never meant with any bad intention".

The race series, a charity event run in partnership with Motorsport Games to raise money for the UNICEF coronavirus relief fund, finished with Abt classified on the podium in third place, but he was soon outed by second place finisher Stoffel Vandoorne. In the post-race interviews, Vandoorne not-so-subtly queried, "To be honest, I'm questioning if it was really Daniel [Abt] in the auto", in the post-race interviews. "I'm out. See you never".

"We discussed sim racing, we drove together and had fun", Abt said.

In the MotoGP, we're used to huge debates regarding solutions at the limit of the regulations: an example is the "spoon", brought to the track past year by Ducati, which was attacked by the other teams, only to then be adopted by everyone.

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