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Agag: Permanent Drive for Kobayashi a “Priority”

Kamui Kobayashi is being lined up for a more permanent seat in the FIA Formula E Championship, according to series boss Alejandro Agag….

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Kamui Kobayashi is being lined up for a more permanent seat in the FIA Formula E Championship, according to series boss Alejandro Agag.

Speaking to e-racing365 shortly after Kobayashi was announced as Antonio Felix Da Costa’s teammate at Andretti for Hong Kong, Agag said it’s beneficial for the growth of Formula E in Japan to have a driver of his stature racing full-time.

“It is great news because I have known Kamui for many, many years,” said Agag.

“For the moment the deal is just for Hong Kong but I would really like everyone to push for him to stay for the whole season as he is a great driver.

“It is also really, really important that we have a Japanese driver in the championship.”

Agag is known to have supported a move for Kobayashi to be on the grid for the season-opener in just over two weeks’ time.

“We have been talking with Michael Andretti and BMW, so for us it is a priority that he stays in the championship,” he said.

As detailed by e-racing365 last week, the deal for Kobayashi to race was significantly influenced by Andretti’s sponsor, MS&AD, which is based in Japan.

Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths said this summer that “as far as Season Four is concerned the call on the drivers is ours” suggesting a compromise was reached between the team, its sponsors and BMW to utilize a seat-sharing strategy.

Tom Blomqvist, who was the team’s nominated driver on the official FIA entry list, and Alexander Sims are waiting in the wings to follow on from Kobayashi should the Hong Kong deal just be a planned cameo.

However, the strategy of swapping drivers around should not affect Andretti’s driver change quota of two changes, as Article 19.1 of the sporting regulations dictates that “reverting to the initial driver [the driver on the Season Entry list] is not counting as a change of driver.”

E-racing365 understands that in addition to Agag, the Japanese marketing giant Dentsu Inc. is also pushing for Kobayashi to extend his program in Formula E.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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