Kobayashi could race on with Andretti


Credit: Formula E

Kamui Kobayashi could continue to race for MS&AD Andretti after team bosses said they were pleased with his performance in Hong Kong.

Kobayashi was surprisingly entered in the second Andretti car despite the team having named Tom Blomqvist on the official entry list.

The decision came after the team’s main sponsor, Chinese business giant MS&AD insurance, insisted that Kobayashi was given a drive.

Blomqvist was expected to return to the team for round three in Marrakesh, but Team Principal Roger Griffiths said that he was impressed by Kobayashi’s performance, and insisted that no one had been promised the seat for the next race.

“The plan was always, ‘We’ll do this weekend and we’ll make no promises to anybody’,” Griffiths said to Autosport.

“We’ve got to review how he got on, look at his qualifying performance and his race pace, his ability to save energy.

“I’m sure there’ll be a number of telephone calls [with BMW].

“We know he’s keen to do more races, we’ve just got to see how that fits with the overall programme.”

Kobayashi endured a nightmare debut in Hong Kong.

He was a distance off the pace of his team-mate, Antonio Felix da Costa, in qualifying, and struggled with energy management in the race – although this was partly to blame on a radio issue on Saturday.

Despite these struggles the team are keen to keep him in the car, and although they are wanting Blomqvist to gain experience, BMW told Autosport that the final decision lies with Andretti.

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said “the sooner he can do that [drive in the car] the better.”

Andretti have to make their decision before the end of the year.