Daniel Abt Disqualified From Race at Home Challenge for Cheating
You know, it’s a shame that in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to report on stuff like this. During the Formula E esports Race at Home Challenge, Daniel Abt was caught cheating. He was doing exceptionally well, quite out of nowhere. How did this come about? Because he had a ringer, in the form of sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing to do his work for him. I hope he paid that kid well, even if he got caught.
If you’re going to cheat, don’t be this obvious. Or you know, maybe don’t cheat? Wouldn’t that be a much better solution?
What Exactly Happened?
What was so suspicious though? Surely people can practice and get better. That’s reasonable. But that’s not at all what happened here. Abt perenially does not tend to place higher than 15th in any event before this. However, he qualified for second place at this weekend’s event, and placed third in the race overall.
When you aren’t getting beyond 15th place in other events, and you’re suddenly top three? That looks overwhelmingly suspicious. Stoffel Vandoorne is a former F1 driver, who noticed this. Hoerzing’s racing prevented Vandoorne for winning:
“Really not happy here because that was not Daniel driving the car himself, and he messed up everything. That was ridiculous,” he said in the race. “I’m questioning if it was really Daniel in the car.”
They were supposed to have Zoom feeds as well to prove they’re doing the work themselves. Some of the racers didn’t seem to see Abt in the Zoom feed while he was racing. It turns out he was there (sort of), but his face was conveniently hidden by audio equipment.
So, Abt was investigated, and it turns out there was some cheating in this Formula E esports event! The IP was not the same as Abt’s, who was supposedly driving. Instead, they found Lorenz Hoerzing, who competes in the FE Challenge Series. He was, as a result, stripped of his sixth-place finish in his race and banned from the Race Challenge series.
You see? Crime doesn’t pay! Anytime you are competing, whether it’s traditional sports, card games, or esports, you should always take it seriously and treat it with due respect.
“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,” Abt said. “I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I’m especially sorry about this because I know how much work has gone into this project on the part of the Formula E organization. I am aware that my offense has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention.”
All of Abt’s points were revoked after the Berlin race and additionally paid 10,000 euros to charity. Abt himself was suspended but was also released by Audi, who he raced for. I have zero sympathies for Abt, though. Cheating in any form is repulsive.
On top of that, he was cheating on a charity event! The Race at Home Challenge is a UNICEF fundraising event, and it’s a disgusting thing to see someone cheat in it.