First driver swap already announced

The FIA Formula E Championship season hasn’t even started yet, but that doesn’t mean that a team can’t make changes to their line-up.

The entry list for the upcoming 2017/18 season was released a few weeks ago by the FIA, and the two drivers named next to the MS&AD Andretti Formula E team were Antonio Felix da Costa and Tom Blomqvist. The team had already announced Felix da Costa long before that, but they haven’t even sent a Tweet out mentioning Blomqvist at any stage.

Today it was announced by the team, that Tom Blomqvist won’t be in the car – at least not in Hong Kong.

In a bit cryptic press release, Kamui Kobayashi has been announced as Felix da Costa’s teammate during the first race weekend, which will be held in Hong Kong on 2 and 3 December. They only mention this single race, and no talks about a full Season 4 entry. Tom Blomqvist isn’t mentioned at all in the press release.

Kamui Kobayashi
Photo: MS&AD Andretti Formula E

There hasn’t been any Asian driver in the Formula E since Ma Qing Hua was fired at the Techeetah team after 3  rounds of the 2016/17 season. This years line-up is very European dominated with only the defending Champion Lucas Di Grassi and the former Champion Nelson Piquet Jr plus New Zealand driver Mitch Evans not being the owner of a bordeaux-coloured passport.

Kamui Kobayashi has driven a number of single-seaters, including 76 Formula 1 races, split on 4 different seasons for Caterham, Sauber F1 Team and Toyota. He had his first outing in the FIA World Endurance Championship for AF Corse in the GTE Pro category, before Toyota Gazoo Racing picked him for their LMP1 team in 2016, where he has been racing since, including doing an impressive Pole Position lap at Le Mans this year.

Toyota doesn’t have any involvement in the Formula E Championship, but it’s quite interesting that Kobayashi has the round BMW batch on his chest – especially since the exact same BMW band will start in the FIA WEC with their new BMW M8 GTE in the coming season.

The FIA Formula E Championship 2017/18 will start in two and a half weeks in Hong Kong with a double header.

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