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Formula E | Abt Fined For E Sport Cheating

In a shock announcement, it has been confirmed that Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler Formula E driver Daniel Abt has been caught cheating during the recent Formula E Race at Home esport round.

Having been a mainstay in the real world Formula E series for several years now, as well as coming from a celebrated motorsport family, Daniel Abt has received a 10,000 euro fine and disqualification from the most recent Formula E Race at Home Challenge esport event due to a rather controversial and somewhat pointless attempt at cheating his way into the top positions of the series - by engaging a 'ringer' to take his place in the latest round of the series.

The series is designed to allow the real world Formula E drivers to continue racing in aid of the UNICEF charity while Covid-19 continues to place real motorsport on hold throughout the world. Using the Formula E content within rFactor 2, the series has so far served up some interesting racing as the entirety of the Formula E grid have adapted with surprising success to the virtual world.

Of course, the series is designed for the real drivers to take part in their virtual machines, and following disappointing results in the championship to-date, Daniel Abt decided it would be smart to have a sim racing professional (Lorenz Hoerzing) pretend to be the German driver in the latest round of the championship.

Having been called out during the race by his rival drivers, then subsequently following his "race finish" allegedly suffering from connection issues that preventing him taking the post race interview process, it has been confirmed that the German was indeed using a 'ringer' to replace him on the circuit - resulting in a 10,000 fine and disqualification from the series to date.
“I did not take it as seriously as I should have,” said Abt in a statement following the announcement of his transgressions.​

“I am 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.”


The driver who took his place in the main event, Lorenz Hoerzing, has been disqualified from all future rounds of the supporting esport professional series, with sporting misconduct cited as his offence.

What do you think of this announcement? Why do you think a professional would cheat in this way with nothing to gain for any "success"? Did Abt get away lightly with a 10,000 fine in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!


Abt Formula E 1.jpg
 
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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

RasmusP

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Oct 7, 2016
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Wow... I think it's fair for Daniel Abt as I really dislike some professionals not taking simracing seriously. The indy races had quite some bad moments.

Of course I don't know what's the story behind this but I think it's rather harsh for the simracer to get excluded from everything.
Excluded from the formula e series: definitely though.

Have to say I kinda like that people who are bad for the reputation of simracing get penalized heavily. Setting examples and hopefully make simracing better for everyone.
 

ltcars

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Sep 12, 2016
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Having been called out during the race by his rival drivers, then subsequently following his "race finish" allegedly suffering from connection issues that preventing him taking the post race interview process, it has been confirmed that the German was indeed using a 'ringer' to replace him on the circuit - resulting in a 10,000 fine and disqualification from the series to date.
€10.000? Man they don't mess around
 

Atom1kk

50RPM
May 9, 2012
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In my opinion is this whole story just a joke. Its only simracing and i can understand why many drivers do not take it siriously. I mean i have also fun driving sims but if you ever drove a real race it just cant stand.
 
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Trebor901

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Aug 10, 2007
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Absolutely pathetic. Dont like my opinion then tough. Also if i got told i had to pay 10k they'd get told to get stuffed.
 
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MarkR

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Feb 8, 2017
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Audi removed the defeat device from the exhaust and replaced it with a deceit device in the driver's seat.

I'm impressed they included the ability to issue fines for cheating in the rules, I assume this would be under the real Formula E regulations though? Typical Type A personality with a win at any cost mentality, his statement "never meant with any bad intention" shows Abt doesn't understand the meaning of cheating. A10k fine clearly wasn't enough.

I've often wondered how esports prevents this type of cheating (along with other stuff like messing with the game files, bots driving etc). I'd also be intrigued to know how others caught him and called him out.
 

Ole Marius Myrvold

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In my opinion is this whole story just a joke. Its only simracing and i can understand why many drivers do not take it siriously. I mean i have also fun driving sims but if you ever drove a real race it just cant stand.
The question is, if he didn't take it seriously, why even bother pulling in a simracer to race under his name to get a good result?
 

CDwyer

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Dec 18, 2014
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In my opinion is this whole story just a joke. Its only simracing and i can understand why many drivers do not take it siriously. I mean i have also fun driving sims but if you ever drove a real race it just cant stand.
I think it is more about having respect for the whole system, Formula E needs this to keep interest going until they can race again for real. A certain amount of respect is thus needed for the current Sim racing.
lol! how did they catch him?
Several of the drivers seemed to know, they commented on not knowing if it was him in the post race chats.
 

Trebor901

2000RPM
Aug 10, 2007
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Audi removed the defeat device from the exhaust and replaced it with a deceit device in the driver's seat.

I'm impressed they included the ability to issue fines for cheating in the rules, I assume this would be under the real Formula E regulations though? Typical Type A personality with a win at any cost mentality, his statement "never meant with any bad intention" shows Abt doesn't understand the meaning of cheating. A10k fine clearly wasn't enough.

I've often wondered how esports prevents this type of cheating (along with other stuff like messing with the game files, bots driving etc). I'd also be intrigued to know how others caught him and called him out.
10k fine wasnt enough? really? its a joke. If i were him id just point blank refuse to pay it. They're professional sports people and if they dont want to participate then they shouldnt have to. Its not what they signed up for originally when going racing. This situation only arises when they are forced into doing it when they've probably already expressed the fact they dont want to or have no interest in taking part.
 
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Trebor901

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Also all these fines set a precedent for sim racing in general. Joining a league in the future? then id start thinking about whether you're gonna do something untoward otherwise you will be landing yourselves fines because the league organisers will see it as "if its fine for these series to fine people in sim racing then its fine for us to do the same"
 

Ole Marius Myrvold

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10k fine wasnt enough? really? its a joke. If i were him id just point blank refuse to pay it. They're professional sports people and if they dont want to participate then they shouldnt have to. Its not what they signed up for originally when going racing. This situation only arises when they are forced into doing it when they've probably already expressed the fact they dont want to or have no interest in taking part.
It's not what the "signed up for" no. But it is the sole way they have at the moment to represent the team, sponsors and get their name out. Which basically is what pays the bills when they go racing. Maybe not everything is as fun as they would like, but that's a part of their job. Just like PR-work.

Also all these fines set a precedent for sim racing in general. Joining a league in the future? then id start thinking about whether you're gonna do something untoward otherwise you will be landing yourselves fines because the league organisers will see it as "if its fine for these series to fine people in sim racing then its fine for us to do the same"
If you join a sim racing series that have so much companies, money and everything involved, then you shouldn't be surprised to see things like that in the sign up rules.
 

RufGTI

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Oct 29, 2015
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Daniel Abt is generally not a very likeable person. I just don't like racing drivers who behave like wannabe influencers. Just take at look at his YouTube or Instagram channel, this guy really puts Nico Rosberg's "IS X'S CAREER OVER?" into perspective. Also, in my opinion his driving abilities get really overrated. It was ok that he got the seat next to Lucas Di Grassi when his family's team entered Formula E as a privateer team but now he is full-pledged works driver in Audi's official factory team. In the meantime, Robin Frijns, another Audi works driver whom I consider to be much more talented, has to be content with a place at Virgin, who drive with Audi engines.