Daniel Abt got dropped from Audi Sport team ABT. The team with his name on it. How do you get dropped from your own team? Getting a ringer to sub in for you during an online race and getting caught.
Here’s today’s news on Daniel Abt from The Race, which broke this story over the weekend:
— The Race (@wearetherace) May 26, 2020
Here’s a bit more of the details on how he got caught, as we wrote the other day:
Suspicions first rose about Abt when he qualified second for the race, held first place for a time, and ultimately finished third, far exceeding any of Abt’s previous performances. Later, eyebrows remained raised as the face of the competitor on Abt’s video feed was obscured by what appeared to be a microphone and his separate Twitch account was not streaming in parallel like normal.
When several drivers raised concerns, Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne decided to call Abt during the race. Abt didn’t answer, seemingly confirming Vandoorne’s suspicions.
Hazel Southwell brought up that this is somewhat new territory for a driver punishment, as we don’t exactly have a clear category for what this online race was:
It's not like Kyle Larson.
Driver uses racial slur in any context, ever = fired. Game or reality doesn't vary on this & shouldn't.
Driver doesn't show for PR exercise = smacked hand, fine, extra media duties. Driver cheats in real race = get fired. So what was this?
— Hazel Southwell (@HSouthwellFE) May 26, 2020
As far as I see it personally, I figure this is like the racing version of plagiarism, and I get why he was given the axe. But getting dropped by the team with your own name on it? That hurts.