"We are very fortunate to have a driver of Kobayashi's caliber in the No. 27 MS&AD Andretti car to start the season in Hong Kong," said Andretti Formula E CEO Michael Andretti. "He has shown what he can do in both Formula 1 and WEC, making Formula E a perfect next step."
Despite his years of racing experience, Kobayashi has his work cut out for him in Hong Kong. "I will be going to the race weekend without testing," he said, "which is not an easy thing, to be honest." He says he has plenty of support from his team, though, and is "really looking forward to having good races."
Kobayashi will be driving alongside teammate and three-year Formula E veteran Antonio Felix da Costa. Autosport reports that BMW DTM driver Tom Blomqvist – who tested with Andretti and is listed on the team's full-season entry – is expected to race in a majority of this season's Formula E races.
While Kobayashi will be representing Japan on the Formula E grid, there is no race planned on Japanese soil. Adrian Britten, Director of Brand & Communications for MS Amlin (which is the international arm of Japanese insurance company MS&AD), said, "The welcome return of a Japanese driver to the Formula E grid will hopefully encourage a future Formula E race in Japan."