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Pro Driver Hires Gamer To Race For Him, Gets Caught

Daniel Abt in happier times at an actual race last year.
Daniel Abt in happier times at an actual race last year.
Photo: Oliver Hardt (Getty)

Like a lot of sports, Formula E has been replacing its actual car races with virtual ones, which drivers can compete in from home. Which is fun, but also left the door open for one driver to attempt some absolutely brazen cheating.

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As the BBC report, 27-year-old German driver Daniel Abt finished third in the latest leg of Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge. Or, organisers thought he’d finished third, until later discovering that he’d hired a gamer to drive the race for him.

The switch was discovered by ex-F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished second in the race and suspected that Abt—who didn’t have his video on—wasn’t behind the wheel. Instead, it turned out to be a gamer by the name of Lorenz Horzing.

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Abt has been forced to pay £8,900, was disqualified from the last race and has had all his points from the series wiped.

He has since apologised, saying “I did not take it as seriously as I should have. I am 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.”

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

It’s almost like the skills that make you a good driver, athlete, soldier, et cetera, aren’t the same skills that make you good at playing video games where you pretend to do those things! Who knew?

Could it possibly be that trying to have professionals who can’t currently do their actual jobs instead try to simulate them in video games is ultimately a deeply misguided idea at best and an extremely idiotic one at worst?

That can’t be right, can it?

/s