Formula E driver who gave car to simracer disqualified from charity virtual race

Formula E

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Formula E driver Daniel Abt has been disqualified from yesterday’s Race At Home Challenge after the series discovered he did not drive his car in the event.

Abt, who started second and finished third, admitted he “called in outside help during the race on Saturday”. Formula E confirmed simracer Lorenz Hoerzing has been “disqualified from the race and all future rounds of the Race at Home Challenge for sporting misconduct”.

The Race At Home series is run in support of Unicef. Formula E has fined Abt €10,000, which must be paid to a charity of his choice.

“I would like to apologise to Formula E, all of the fans, my team and my fellow drivers for having called in outside help during the race on Saturday,” said Abt in a statement on the fifth round of the series, run on the virtual Berlin Templehof circuit. “I did not take it as seriously as I should have.

“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.” Abt added he accepted the disqualification and fine.

Oliver Rowland won the race ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, while Pascal Wehrlein was promoted to third in place of Abt. Wehrlein leads Vandoorne by 12 points in the championship standings.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 35 comments on “Formula E driver who gave car to simracer disqualified from charity virtual race”

    1. Cheating is repugnant at the best of times, but why cheat with so much to lose and so little to gain? Virtual races seem to be bringing out the worst in some drivers. I hope sponsors see this behavior for what it is, a fundamental dishonesty that tarnishes the sport at large.

        1. Abt is a real driver with a real sporting career that he pursues doing events like this for a real series. He was representing his sport during this virtual race.

      1. proud_asturian
        24th May 2020, 20:55

        It’s a video game mate.
        Calm down.

        1. I hear someone spout nonsense, and I ask them to defend their position. Calm as a cucumber, mate.

        2. It being a video game is beside the point. He was dishonest; he mislead people. People who don’t see any wrongdoing have no standards.

        3. Watch jimmy broadbent winning the indy 500 in iracing and say its just a game

    2. Does anyone take all this sim racing seriously?
      I thought it was all a fun way of marking time at home or away from the real thing.
      Perhaps I don’t get it.

      1. Same here, making a big deal out of nothing. 10k fine is a joke.

        1. Enabling cheaters is a joke. Kids look up to people like Daniel Abt. It is no joke that actions have consequences.

          1. No kid knows who Daniel Abt is.

            1. They do now.

          2. @ferrox-glideh calm down, it’s just a vidya game. It’s obvious the drivers don’t take it half as serious as you do.

            Moral police outrage, over a vidya? You’ve got to be kidding.

            Nobody knows who danial abt is.

            1. So I guess you are the vocal advocate of immorality? Nice.

            2. @xcm So I guess you are the vocal advocate of immorality? Nice.

      2. It’s not free, it takes time, the drivers still represent their teams and sponsors, and it takes time. Sure, the competition isn’t official (although I wonder why no series made some real competitive initiatives before, unless I missed some) and it’s not exactly like their day job, but people put in time and effort, and if they are cheated on that, they are right to be upset, just like in the Pagenaud-Norris incident. I haven’t followed this Formula E series, but reading about this what Abt did was ridiculous and shameful.

      3. It is still as real as watching a poker game, chess game or any other sport where the competitor can do it sitting down. It still takes a ton of skill, time and effort to be good at. It makes for entertainment viewing, it is exciting and a real competition. Lots of people have put a lot of effort into the racing and broadcasting. When someone does something totally stupid like wrecking others on purpose (pagenaud and that ferrucci) or something blatant cheating like abt it is not more of a joke than going to watch a football game only to have one team lose on purpose or just not play at all. It is just a ball game who cares? It is just grown men sitting in cars going around circles. Who cares? Sitting in a car is not real sport… or is it?… I don’t care so why should anybody? Everything I like is real, hard and exciting. Everything other people like is a joke, not real competition, who cares…? That’s how it goes?

        1. William Jones
          25th May 2020, 14:24

          Thank-you!

      4. it should be fun and games, but man, the whole thing is done to support Unicef too, not only to entertain people. That alone should make it more of a responsability to show up and give it your best.

        And man, if that’s the hardest thing you’ve got to do, you poor soul! having it so easy when a lot of people are REALLY suffering. I suppose if you don’t want to take part for whatever reason, you can just say so. And if Formula E obligates you to take part, just do it… how much of your wealthy life is that going to take?

        This is truly a disgusting behaviour… I guess he’s not going to be fired or anything since his father runs the team…

    3. You can expect Abt to pull stunts like this.

    4. Bill Shorter
      24th May 2020, 16:11

      I’m so tired of hearing about this video game racing all the time. I tried to watch the first couple of weeks but it is not interesting at all. It’s clear that very few people take it seriously. It has absolutely nothing to do with actual racing. I have no idea why it gets so much coverage.

      1. William Jones
        25th May 2020, 14:26

        When F1fanatic changed to racefans, the intent was clear. The site is for racing of all kinds. If you are not interested in some forms of racing, don’t worry – that’s entirely normal. Just ignore the stuff you’re not interested in.

    5. And he got a new name, Daniel Abtsent.. 😅😅

      1. Doubly appropriate/clever punning @ernietheracefan

        1. Highly Abt, in fact…

    6. Daniel Abt. No surprise.

    7. What was he thinking.

    8. What if he entered a chess tournament and got external help? What more of a disqualification would you ask for? A ban? Possibly. 10k? Absurd. His job is to drive a real car on real racetracks. What he does outside of that, is irrelevant to his job position. This whole thing started because of the wrong reasons (it was forced because of the pandemic, it’s not like every real life driver suddenly found out how brilliant it was to race online, which in fact isn’t) and is developing worse and worse day by day. You either make it a fun fest, with crashes and laughs or you create a serious championship out of it. This half way middle of the road is sure bringing more than one misunderstanding on what everyone is supposed to do.

      1. William Jones
        25th May 2020, 14:28

        I suspecct his sponsers have a word or two on his job and how he represents their brands…. but I do in fact agree with your conclusion. Let’s get the actual top tier virtual racers competing seriously, full simulations, real prize money on the line.

    9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      24th May 2020, 22:29

      Why did he do it though? Like why hire someone to drive for him? Was he that afraid of being beaten or could he just not be bothered with it? If he didn’t want to do it I’m sure there were other drivers that would take his place – Nick Cassidy for instance did rather well with Virgin.

      I kinda got the feeling Abt was a generally poor driver and was only in the FE team because of his name, but this kinda cements it. Like who cares its ‘just a video game’, if you’re so scared of being beaten or looking bad that you hire someone to pretend to be you when your competitors are at least turning up… well that’s just embarrassing.

      Realistically FE should have banned Abt from the remaining races and let the guy he paid do it instead. He clearly did a better job.

    10. Ahhhh… pro sports! Daniel you should have simply acted out a pulled hamstring that kept you from sitting. :)

    11. Who cares. This whole simracing nonsense is just timewasting until the real racing can get going again.

    12. RocketTankski
      25th May 2020, 9:56

      Rumour has it that he also pays another kid to do his school homework.

    13. Is he contractually obliged to participate? If he didn’t want to race then don’t. What an odd thing to do.

    14. Broccoliface
      26th May 2020, 1:47

      A lot of grumpy old people strangely furious at computer games in this section. It doesn’t matter what form the competition takes, once governing bodies and the associated deep-pocketed sponsors put their name to something, you act appropriately.

    Comments are closed.