Audi Sport's Formula E racer Daniel Abt has been banned from virtual racing series after he was found guilty of hiring a professional sim driver in his place!
In a bizarre incident, racing driver Daniel Abt has been banned from competing in Formula E virtual racing series after being found guilty of using a stand-in driver in his place during an online racing event. Abt, who races for Audi Sport in Formula E, has also been asked to make a mandatory charity of 10,000 euros (Rs 8.27 lakh, approximately).
With no actual racing action due to the Coronavirus crisis, Formula E has been organising ‘Race at Home Challenge’ online races to support UNICEF. Four races have already been organised, but the fifth race is where things went awry for the Audi Sport driver. After scoring zero points in the first four races, Abt suddenly finished on the podium in the fifth race. However, ex-F1 driver and current Mercedes Formula E driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished second in the race, raised suspicion about this and accused Abt of not being the one competing in the race. To verify this, the organisers ran a thorough enquiry on Abt and found out that it was indeed the case -- Abt had hired a professional simulation racer, Lorenz Hoerzing, to race for him for the virtual race!
Following this, Abt issued an apology to fans and organisers and accepted his disqualification from the race as well as the series: '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.'
While Abt's ethics are definitely being questioned here, this also shows that most of the real-life professional racers don't take online or virtual racing games seriously. However, it wasn't the brightest idea to use someone else in his place, even if Abt considers virtual racing not worth of his time and efforts.