"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", the Frenchman added. Abt has been disqualified from the race, fined €10,000 and as stripped of all his points after it was discovered he used a professional esport racer to compete in his place.
After the discovery, Abt apologized, saying: "I did not take it as seriously as I should have".
The 27-year-old denied seeking any sporting gain in Saturday's fifth round of the all-electric series" virtual "Race at Home Challenge' and said he had simply wanted "to create a amusing story for the fans". "He directly apologised for this on the following day and accepted the disqualification".
Audi said in an earlier statement that "integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules" were top priorities.
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Abt, Audi's first Formula E race victor, apparently finished third in Saturday's race on the virtual Berlin Tempelhof layout but rivals expressed doubts at the time about who was racing. 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'm out. See you never". "It's a pain I've never felt this way before in my life", said Abt in a YouTube video in which he comes back to the incident and what is now the current state of affairs. We discussed sim racing, we drove together, and had fun.
To be fair, Abt is not the first driver to struggle with the transition from real cars to simulators during the pandemic.
In the MotoGP, we're used to huge debates regarding solutions at the limit of the regulations: an example is the "spoon", brought to the track a year ago by Ducati, which was attacked by the other teams, only to then be adopted by everyone.
Like all global competitions, which have stopped because of the Coronavirus, Formula E is also organizing virtual races, and yesterday's Berlin race was in collaboration with UNICEF.
The disqualification is not the first for Mr Abt, after having a 2017 result in the real-life Formula E roster overturned for using parts not assigned to his vehicle. "We wanted to document it and create a amusing story for the fans with it".