2020 will be remembered by scandals that no one could even imagine before. The German Formula E driver Daniel Abt from the Audi team asked the professional cyber sportsman Lorenz Hoerzing to take part in the official race on the Berlin Tempelhof track instead of him. The race was carried out virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The driver could not get used to computer simulations quickly, that's why he decided to put a professional e-sim racer, 18-year-old Lorenz Hoerzing, in his virtual seat.
The gamer "overdid it" and came third in the race, so utterly surprised colleagues began to express doubts. Also, the rider did not use the Zoom broadcast to confirm independent participation in the race.
The organizer conducted an investigation and found the real participant by his IP address, and this way confirmed the concerns of fellow racers. As a result, Daniel Abt was disqualified in a virtual series and was forced to pay a fine of €10,000. Lorenz Hoerzing was banned in the FE Challenge series and was deprived of the sixth place that he occupied there before the incident.
Daniel Abt apologized to the fans and the organizers of the competition, but this does not relieve him of responsibility.
"I would like to apologize to Formula E, all of the fans, my team and my fellow drivers for having called in outside help during the race on Saturday," Abt said in a statement. "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 organisation. I am aware that my offence has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention."
But unfortunately, yesterday morning, Audi announced that it had dropped driver Daniel Abt over the incident, and Abt himself released a video statement announcing he was no longer with the team.
The Formula E Championship launched the Race at Home Challenge series to keep the attention of fans during a forced outage due to COVID-19. It involves real Formula E championship drivers and professional gamers who compete in the rFactor2 simulator.
Rarlier, the Formula 1 championship launched the virtual F1 Esports championship due to the transfer of the first eight stages of the 2020 season. With the help of online championships, Formula E raises funds to combat the pandemic and its consequences.