With the majority of sport cancelled for the foreseeable future, many leagues have turned to esports in abid to continue bringing us sports entertainment. Probs that and to keep the athletes busy with something. Which is why the Formula E established the Race at Home Challenge — an online competition designed to give fans and drivers some racing goodness during COVID-19 lockdown measures.
This means that athletes were given racing simulator kits to race from the comfort of their own homes, and the same is true for Audi racer Daniel Abt. The man decided that he’s not up to racing digitally and employed a professional esports sim gamer to complete the races for him, after which Formula E fined him €10,000 (almost R200,000) and stripped him of all previous points earned in races. Big oof.
The sim racing professional he brought on, Lorenz Hoerzing, placed sixth in the companion FE Challenge race, which sounded the alarms. Other racers were highly sceptical, as Abt has never placed higher than 15th place in previous races. Hoerzing generally competes in the parallel FE Challenge series and has now been banned from the Race Challenge series and stripped of his sixth-place finish in the companion FE Challenge race.
According to Engadget (and the YouTube video), Abt had a live stream Zoom-feed running, but spectators weren’t able to see his face on-screen. “Please ask Daniel Abt to put his Zoom next time he’s driving, because like Stoffel said I’m pretty sure he wasn’t in,” said the two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.
“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,” Mr Abt said in a statement. Cheating is cheating, Mr Abt. The whole video can be seen right here on YouTube.