Daniel Abt has been sensationally thrown out of the Audi Sport Formula E team entirely as punishment for using a ‘ringer’ during an esports event over the weekend.

The German was caught using stand-in driver Lorenz Hoerzing during this weekend’s Race At Home event involving all of the professional Formula E drivers.

Hoerzing went on to finish in third place under Abt’s name, but suspicions were raised by rivals who pointed out his webcam was obscured during race, with both Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne both calling him out.

Their suspicions were confirmed when Formula E officials discovered the IP address used for the race was that of Hoerzing. As a result, he was disqualified him from all races up to that point, with Abt – who admitted not taking the event seriously enough - apologising and donating €10,000 euros to charity.

However, the saga for Abt has since been elevated to a more serious level with Audi Sport announcing it has ‘suspended’ the German driver from its team entirely, including real-world racing.

Citing his lack of ‘integrity, transparency and consistent compliance’ in line with the manufacturer’s core values, Abt’s contract has subsequently been terminated with immediate effect.

“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 apologized 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.”

The development is a bitter outcome for Abt, who has competed with the team from Season 1 of Formula E when it was run under associated Abt Audi name before remaining when Audi Sport took it over as a full-factory entry from Season 4.

The German has achieved two wins and nine podiums in five and a half seasons of Formula E, peaking with a run to fifth overall in 2017-18.

 

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