The Audi Formula E team has provided further clarification for its reasoning behind the decision to cut ties with Daniel Abt following his involvement in an Esports scandal.

Abt was suspended by Audi on Tuesday after he was found guilty of asking professional sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing to take his place in the Berlin round of Formula E’s virtual Race at Home Challenge.

The German, who was subsequently excluded from the event and ordered to pay €10,000 to charity, released a video statement in which he apologised for the stunt and insisted he was just trying to be “funny”.

Audi has since issued a follow-up statement in which it formally confirmed Abt will no longer race for the team while explaining how his actions left it with no option but to end its association with the German, despite its usual tolerance for mistakes.

“Daniel Abt, after six years and 63 races, will no longer drive for Audi in Formula E,” the Audi statement read.

“With Daniel, we celebrated great success and made enormous strides with Formula E. We are thankful for our time together and look back on it proudly.

“However, integrity, transparency, and consistent compliance with applicable rules, especially with regards to the past, are top priorities for us at Audi.

“We stand by our culture of tolerating mistakes. However, the incidents that took place during the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ sim racing series were not a mistake, but a conscious decision to go against the rules.

“That is what makes the big difference for us. Therefore, unfortunately, we had no other alternative than suspending Daniel Abt.”

It is understood that Audi’s two-time DTM champion Rene Rast has emerged as a potential front-runner to replace Abt, who was out of contract at the end of the current Formula E campaign and was not expected to be retained.