Audi Sport on Tuesday suspended German racing driver Daniel Abt for cheating in a charity video game race in which he passed the handset to a professional esports gamer while pretending he himself was at the controls.

The organisers recognised the scullduggery on Saturday when Abt, second bottom of the series challenge points championship, came third in the race at a replica of Berlin’s Templehof Airport circuit.

At one point in the race Abt had led by a wide margin, alerting the suspicions of the organisers, who went on to disqualify the 27-year-old.

Abt won a real world race on the same circuit in 2018 and has been successfully racing Formula-E since its creation in 2014.

But his lapse in judgement over the weekend did not please Audi, which said: “Integrity, transparency and consistent compliance with applicable rules are top priorities for Audi – this applies to all activities the brand is involved in without exception.

“For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt with immediate effect.”

Audi added: “Daniel Abt did not drive his car in qualifying and (nor) the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on May 23 himself, but let a professional Sim-Racer do so.

“He directly apologised for this on the following day and accepted the disqualification.”