Leading Formula E drivers have questioned Audi’s decision to suspend Daniel Abt following his controversial actions during an official Esports event last weekend.

On Tuesday Audi confirmed that Abt had been suspended “with immediate effect” after the German admitted to getting professional sim-racer Lorenz Hoerzing to compete on his behalf during the Berlin round of FE’s latest Race at Home Challenge.

Hoerzing collided with Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne as they battled for the lead of the race, with the former eventually claiming third place to register Abt’s best finish in the virtual series.

The 27-year-old was excluded from the event and ordered to pay €10,000 to charity after being found guilty of cheating, with the scandal prompting Audi to suspend him.

Abt released a video statement apologising for his “huge mistake” and confirmed he will not race again for Audi.

A number of his FE rivals responded to the news on social media, with two-time champion and DS Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne criticising Audi’s decision, as well as highlighting some questionable driving standards.

EDITOR'S PICKS: Does real punishment for Abt really fit the Esports crime? 

"After all this a game that should be taken seriously, but it's a GAME,” he tweeted.

"Then what about all the drivers crashing on purpose, that would probably get their licence removed if that was reality?

“Been out of almost all races for un-sportsman behaviour and drivers using me as brakes.”

Streaming services such as Twitch have become increasingly popular among a number of drivers in FE and other championships to document their virtual racing progress, however, the Audi-Abt controversy has led some to suggest they will no longer stream their races for fans.

Jaguar’s James Calado posted: “No more streaming, sorry guys”, while Vergne’s Techeetah teammate Antonio Felix da Costa added: “I guess streaming is done for me too.”

 

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