Daniel Abt Suspended by Audi Following Virtual E-Prix Scandal

After having been found to have let a ringer race in his place at the virtual Berlin e-Prix last weekend, the Audi Formula E team has suspended driver Daniel Abt.

“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,” the brand said in a statement.  “For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt with immediate effect.”

Although Audi has only officially suspended the driver, Autosport reports that he has been kicked off the Formula E team altogether. Audi GT3 drivers Kelvin van der Linde and Mattia Drudi are tipped as likely candidates for his seat once the series picks up again.

Abt, who had apparently earned third place in last weekend’s virtual e-Prix, was disqualified from the race after it was found that professional esports driver Lorenz Hoerzing had raced in his place.

Abt’s result was stricken and he was required to make a €10,000 donation to the charity of his choice.

The driver admitted that he had cheated in a statement released with Formula E, apologizing for not taking the virtual series “as seriously as [he] should have.”

Abt has driven for Audi’s Formula E team since the sport’s inception and, along with teammate Lucas di Grassi, is one of four drivers to have taken part in every race the series has ever held. In that time he earned 10 podiums and 2 wins.

A member of the Abt family that owns and operates ABT Sportsline, a popular Audi tuner, the business was a title sponsor of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team for which he raced. What the fallout from this scandal brings for the team remains unknown.