Formula E driver disqualified after ringer took his place in virtual race

midian182

Posts: 5,780   +46
Staff member

German Audi driver Daniel Abt qualified in second place in the Formula E Race at Home Challenge, going on to take third place. This raised suspicions as he’d never finished above 15th before.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished second in the 15-lap race around a virtual Berlin Tempelhof track, said he believed someone else was competing under Abt’s name.

“Really not happy here because that was not Daniel driving the car himself, and he messed up everything. That was ridiculous,” he said. “I’m questioning if it was really Daniel in the car.”

Two-time real-life champion Jean-Eric Vergne agreed. “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,” he said.

Their suspicions were confirmed when organizers of the race cross-referenced the IP addresses of competitors and discovered Abt could not have been the one controlling his car. It turned out that professional e-sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing was at the wheel.

Reuters reports that drivers are usually visible during races via Zoom, but the face of the person pretending to be Abt was obscured by microphone equipment. Additionally, his Twitch stream had stopped working. Neither Abt nor Hoerzing took part in post-race interviews.

18-year-old Hoerzing, who competes in the FE Challenge Series—a parallel championship for esport drivers—has been banned from competing in all future rounds of the Challenge Grid competition and stripped of his sixth-place finish. Abt, meanwhile, has been disqualified, stripped of all his points, and ordered to pay 10,000 euros ($10,900) to charity.

“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 in a statement. “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 organisation. I am aware that my offence has a bitter aftertaste, but it was never meant with any bad intention.”

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,882   +2,243
I can think of nothing more boring then watching a bunch of racecar drivers race in a video game. Lets Plays work on the charisma of their creators. These drivers are not trading banter to each other or making jokes, what the hell is the point?
 
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Kerodon

Posts: 20   +4
I can think of nothing more boring then watching a bunch of racecar drivers race in a video game. Lets Plays work on the charisma of their creators. These drivers are not trading banter to each other or making jokes, what the hell is the point?
watching their micro and mechanics and skill from professionalism. This is for people who already liked watching real races to get their fix. It's beyond me why it is interesting to watch but that's for them
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,318   +526
Exemplifies the difference between a simulation and real physics. Some real drivers can't translate. Has there been a case of simulation gamer doing well in a real car?
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,506   +2,098
I like both real racing and virtual racing but they're two different beasts and anyone saying they're close is ridiculous. He cheated and got caught, as he should be. As a sport I find both real and virtual racing quite boring to watch, I just like the idea of it and to participate/play.
 
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Bp968

Posts: 132   +89
I like both real racing and virtual racing but they're two different beasts and anyone saying they're close is ridiculous. He cheated and got caught, as he should be. As a sport I find both real and virtual racing quite boring to watch, I just like the idea of it and to participate/play.
Ive toyed with both and like virtual flying it lacks the gforce feedback and true sense of speed and consequence. When on a rally stage you have pretty strong incentive not to stand on the throttle forever since flying off into the trees is a pretty serious problem and even a "slow" car will feel quite fast. Contrast that to virtual where you have none of that Gforce feedback to tell you how close to the edge you or the car are. So many of the cues you rely on while pushing a car to the limit are subtle feelings through the wheel, the pedals and the seat and your own body. You can feel the car start to "skip" as it loses traction and you can feel the slight but sudden changes in G forces as finds and loses grip on a loose surface. None of that is there in a virtual driving game.

Its still fun, and I still think its a great thing to play or have a hobby around and the high end simulators are amazing. But its still nothing compared to the real thing (sadly few of us can find the cash needed to compete even at the lowest levels).
 
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ilovetohateyou

Posts: 6   +0
Exemplifies the difference between a simulation and real physics. Some real drivers can't translate. Has there been a case of simulation gamer doing well in a real car?
NASCAR driver William Byron (2017 Xfinity [second level] champion, 2018 [top level] rookie of the year) began as a champion eRacer on iRacing and later transitioned in his teens to actual vehicles, which is of course highly unusual since traditionally whether open-wheel or stock car, most top level racers begin doing stuff like carting before they can write their name in cursive.