After a string of finishes no higher than P15, Daniel Abt Formula E's Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler racing team, at last, showed some Abt-itude for sim racing this past Saturday by finishing an unprecedented P3. The German's miraculous improvement, however, drew suspicion, and for good reason, as it soon came to light that Abt himself hadn't driven the race and that the finish was instead achieved by a surrogate. For his shenanigans, Abt was disqualified from the event, forced to make a 10,000 euro charitable donation, and has been suspended from Audi's Formula E team—which is operated by his own father.
Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler Formula E Team as it's formally known is operated by famed Audi tuner and racing team Abt Sportsline, which was founded by Christian and Hans-Jürgen Abt. The latter assumed control of the company in 2011, opening the door for his son Daniel to become a staple of Audi's Formula E stable. Said door, however, has closed again for the time being, as Audi issued a release on Tuesday declaring Daniel's immediate suspension.
"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," said the statement, as reported by ESPN. "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's stand-in Lorenz Hörzing didn't escape punishment either and has been barred from all future Formula E Race at Home Challenge events.
Just another example that poor virtual decisions lead to sucky real consequences.
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