Following post-race investigations, it was revealed that a sim racer actually drove for Daniel Abt at Round Five of the Race At Home Challenge in Berlin.
At a virtual FE race day at Tempelhof Airport Circuit, Berlin, Daniel Abt had supposedly jumped into the title fight as ‘he’ presented a strong qualifying pace at not only a home track for him, but for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler too.
In the previous rounds of the Race At Home Challenge, all 24 real-life Formula E drivers have set to take part in this event which supports UNICEF’s efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of the world’s children and families by hosting this esports series.
In the rounds so far, Abt had been competing around the mid-field area as his best qualification stands at P9 and his best finish at P15. It was deemed as unusual to then see him qualify at the front of the field at the next weekend.
An example includes through Stoffel Vandoorne’s live Twitch stream, where even he raised suspicions throughout the qualification, the race, and even post-race.
“I had an okay start but then Daniel came up the inside (as Abt forcely made his way into the lead) – to be honest I’m really questioning whether it was Daniel in the car,” he said in a post-race interview.
The aggressive moves by ‘Abt’ had displaced Stoffel and he missed the chance to not only lead the race but claim a win, having claimed three pole-positions over the last five races.
In the stream, Stoffel attempted to call Abt after qualifying but he was ignored – on the previous occasions when they have phoned each other, they are inclined to laugh and conversate as per usual.
As a result of his actions, Abt was given a €10,000 fine and was disqualified from the event.
Daniel Abt issued a statement as he admitted to this: “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.
“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.
“Of course, I accept the disqualification from the race. In addition, I will donate 10,000 Euros to a charitable project,” for his absence at the virtual race.