FE News: Leading drivers question Audi's suspension of Abt over Esports controversy

Matt Kew
Leading FE drivers question Abt suspension decision

Two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne leads a series of professional drivers questioning Audi's decision to suspend Daniel Abt following his Esports controversy.

Abt was suspended with immediate effect by the Audi FE team on Tuesday after he used sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing to take his place during the Berlin round of the virtual FE Race at Home Challenge.

Hoerzing qualified second behind Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne before the pair collided for the lead, with the sim racer eventually finishing in third to score the best result for Abt's car.

PLUS: Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

DS Techeetah driver Vergne posted his criticism of the Audi ruling on social media, tweeting: "After all this a game that should be taken seriously, but it's a GAME.

"Then what about all the drivers crashing on purpose, that would probably get their licence removed if that was reality?

"Been out of almost all races for un-sportsman behaviour and drivers using me as brakes."

Leading FE drivers question Abt suspension decision

Jaguar FE driver James Calado and Vergne's team-mate, current real-world FE points leader Antonio Felix da Costa, suggested they would no longer live broadcast their participation.

Da Costa wrote: "Goodbye Twitch, goodbye streams... I'm out. See you never."

Prior to his suspension, Abt was fined €10,000 - donated to a charity of his choice - by FE, was disqualified from the event and had his Race at Home Challenge points wiped.

Porsche GT driver Laurens Vanthoor added: "This all started as a show to entertain. Now it has cost multiple careers.

"Yes, there are dos and don'ts. Yes, some are unacceptable. Consequences are needed, but this?!

"It's a virtual thing to entertain you, not our daily job. But it costs our daily one."

Autosport understands that Abt, one of only four drivers to have contested every race in FE history, will lose his Audi seat as a result of the suspension.

The two-time E-Prix winner is set to respond via a video statement on Tuesday evening.

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