back to article You E-diot! Formula E driver booted off Audi team after getting video game ace to take his place in online race

With motor sports going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic, it appears not everyone is coping well with the change in gear to online. A Formula E driver was caught cheating this weekend – by getting a video game ace to secretly stand in for him in a virtual race for charity. Daniel Abt admitted letting e-sports pro Lorenz …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Seems like an Abt punishment

    First, I don't understand the appeal of esports. But even among esports aficionados virtual racing is not popular. And to top it off neither Abt or his ringer are very good. So I can't say I'm particularly interested in this, except for the fact that Formula E was trying to do something charitable with UNICEF and these jerks messed it up.

    1. Glen 1

      Re: Seems like an Abt punishment

      I'm not into it esports in general, but there is obviously enough of a following for folks to be getting paid $$$ from advertisers.

      I *have* watched "Let's Play"s of F1 games, and found it significantly more interesting than watching a bunch of millionaires kicking a bag a of wind about.


      Each to their own, I suppose.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Seems like an Abt punishment

      Abt was one of the more competitive drivers in Formula E real racing. I understand his stand in sandbagged a bit in finishing third, where he could easily have won but tried to disguise himself by hanging back. Real drivers would be able to spot the style of a real driver versus a gamer.

    3. Annihilator

      Re: Seems like an Abt punishment

      I'm not into esports at all, but I did catch one of the F1 stand-in races and I have to admit I was kind of impressed. Probably more to do with the graphics I suspect, but I would hand on heart say I would struggle to tell the difference between real footage and game footage these days.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: Seems like an Abt punishment

        I've seen a couple of those as well, and as you say the graphics quality is really quite impressive these days - certainly a bit of a step up from the days of Geoff Crammonds F1GP, which was the last time I was seriously into simulated F1 (after that I got too involved in flight sims to give driving ones much of my time).

        However, as a F1 fan as well, I have to admit to also being quite impressed with the actual events themselves - after the first couple of laps I find myself getting as much into the racing as any of the actual races, and whilst it certainly isn't a complete substitute for the real thing from a viewer perspective (although I think part of that is just down to the absence of all the pit lane/paddock coverage and the familiar presenters that you get along with the race itself), it's definitely doing a good job of filling in the gaps along with all the re-runs of older real races.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities for Audi...

    ...except when it comes to diesel emissions testing, obviously."

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Integrity?

      Like with like

      The Car Of Choice For Cheaters

    2. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Integrity?

      ""Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules ..." are zero priorities for most of us these days and have been for quite some time. The general rule is Crowley's "do what you will..." provided you can get away with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Integrity?

        Was Crowley the founder of the USA? His rule seems to define what US citizens seem to view as their freedom.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Integrity?

          He probably was, because otherwise how could he have organised such a suitable pair of parents for the Antichrist?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Integrity?

      And fan boosts.

    4. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Integrity?

      "Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities for Audi...

      ...except when it comes to diesel emissions testing, obviously."


      Or :

      "Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules have now become top priorities for Audi since we realise there may be consequences for it being otherwise"

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Integrity?

        Audi marketing and image generally attract the very worst and most selfish drivers though, so probably appropriate that they are here.

  3. Fursty Ferret

    Not the first time this sort of thing has happened, and won't be the last.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Absolutely. Cheating in a video game ? Happens all the time. There are many people out there who simply cannot stand losing. They're not there to play the game, they're there to win. Ask any company with an online FPS game. Even Minecraft has a server module to prevent cheating. Minecraft.

      But the line that really gets me is "it was never meant with any bad intention". No it was meant with the intention of winning, because he obviously just couldn't stand the fact that everyone had observed his lackluster virtual performance and his ego couldn't take it any more.

      When you get to that point, it doesn't matter what the goal of the competition is, you just want to show them all, charity be damned.

      Well, one thing's for sure, there will be some tensions around the dinner table come next Christmas.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Annihilator

    "The online Formula E race is based on rFactor 2, which is a game. It's a simulation which does not have anything in common with real racing"

    Does not have anything in common. Huh...

  5. Cuddles Silver badge

    Missing the point

    "he argued that simulated racing is a long way from the real thing, and the real-life drivers can be forgiven for not adjusting."

    Yes, absolutely. Video games are very different from real racing, and it's entirely understanable that drivers would struggle when asked to suddenly start doing what is effectively an entirely different job. It's also understandable that someone used to doing well competing at one sport might be disappointed when they don't do as well at a new one that wasn't even their choice to start competing in. But none of that is an excuse for cheating. He's a professional who is paid to do a particular job. He refused to do it and cheated instead. "It's not the same as my normal job so I cheated in a charity competition" is not an apology, and indicates exactly how much forgiveness this individual deserves.

  6. LucreLout

    Just lose gracefully

    .... seriously, when did it become a bad thing to just lose? In an entire field of competition there can be only one winner, so by definition everyone else lost. You were good enough to make the field, its just that there's someone better than you today, and if you won there's going to be someone better than you tomorrow. And?

    There's no participation medals in the real world, so just grow a pair (whichever gender appropriate pair that is) and try harder, get better, or just console yourself with making millions doing something you're not very good at....

  7. Richard Scratcher

    Asking for a friend...

    I've not heard of rFactor 2. Is the simulation real enough to check if you would be safe to drive a real car... if say you thought you had a virus or something, that had affected your eyesight?

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Asking for a friend...

      Only if you load the Barnard Castle scenery packs.

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge

    His fluffer fluffed it

    Full disclosure: some of my funnier posts were outsourced.

  9. Hazmoid

    When nobody gets the joke

    So it would have been been better if he announced at the start of the race, " I can't be bothered today so I got a mate to drive for me. "

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