BMW has announced that Tom Blomqvist will partner Antonio Felix da Costa for the rest of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E season at the Andretti Formula E team.
The BMW factory driver will replace Kamui Kobayashi, who raced for Andretti in the opening two races of the season in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Blomqvist has been shifted across from his DTM commitments to race in Formula E with the American team. He has previously tested an Andretti ATEC-03 both privately and at the official pre-season Valencia test in October.
Fellow BMW driver Alexander Sims was also announced by the German manufacturer as an official reserve driver.
Andretti and BMW have always publically stated that driver choice is solely Andretti’s for season four.
This is despite the fact that the German manufacturer and the American team appeared not to have been aligned in making the announcement on the switch from Kobayashi to Blomqvist.
A BMW press release, which was issued as part of its end of season event in Munich last night, asserted that “Andretti has named BMW works driver Tom Blomqvist for the seat in the second car.”
Andretti though is yet to officially acknowledge the change in its line-up from Hong Kong.
Blomqvist was initially announced by the FIA as a season entrant in early November when his name appeared on the official season entry list. Andretti didn’t formerly communicate their original posted entries at this stage.
Andretti did mention last night the inclusion of BMW driver Bruno Spengler in a hurried second draft of its Marrakesh rookie test release. The Canadian will join Colton Herta for the test which takes place the day after the Marrakesh E-Prix.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt also confirmed the German manufacturers continued learning of Formula E, stating that “our engineers and drivers are being integrated to gain stronger awareness and understanding as we near Season 5.”
Andretti scored eight points in Hong Kong for da Costa’s sixth-place finish in the first encounter. He was on course to add to that tally on Sunday but suffered a slow car swap pit stop with a technical problem.
Kobayashi took a 15th and 17th place on what now appears to be a cameo performance in Formula E.
Andretti does not have to re-enter Blomqvist as he was on the initial entry list received by the FIA at the beginning of November. Therefore the switch back to Blomqvist will not count as a driver change.