As the COVID-19 pandemic caused a pivot to online racing, some real world consequences have come as a result. On the NASCAR side, Kyle Larson was fired for using a racial slur while Bubba Wallace lost a sponsor for rage quitting. Now, it appears a Formula E driver is about to lose his ride for not even taking part in the race.
According to Motorsport, Daniel Abt is set to be fired from Audi for cheating in the “Race at Home Challenge” by having professional sim-racer Lorenz Hoerzing take his place this past weekend. At the virtual Berlin E-Prix, “Abt” finished third but after it was discovered he cheated, Abt was disqualified and fined €10,000 which became a donation to charity.
Abt admitted to not taking the virtual series seriously and accepted his disqualification in a statement. Audi released their own statement confirming Abt’s accepting of the disqualification and announced a suspension that’ll reportedly turn into a firing.
“Daniel Abt did not drive his car in qualifying and the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on May 23 himself, but let a professional sim-racer do so.”
“He directly apologised for this on the following day and accepted the disqualification.”
“Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities for Audi – this applies to all activities the brand is involved in without exception. For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt with immediate effect.”
Abt has been in Formula E since the beginning of the series in 2014. He has two career wins and finished a career high of fifth in the season standings. While his firing is reportedly set to happen, it’s going to be interesting what happens next because Abt’s father and uncle own the Formula E team he was racing for. Expect more twists and turns to this story in the coming days.