Thursday, 15 March: Sami Selio’s preparations for a shot at a third world title have begun in earnest with the 2007 and 2010 champion confirming the same line-up with fellow Finn Filip Roms in the number two boat.
The Mad Croc BABA Racing principal is in Lisbon which he revealed will be a second base for the team’s pre-season testing, with boat builds and repairs carried out at its main base, Massimo Roggiero’s facility in Busto Arsizio, Italy. Selio also confirmed that he has a new boat on the way which he hopes will be ready for the season opener in Portimao on 18-19 May.
After what can only be described as a bizarre 2017 season for Selio which saw him podium twice in the first two races and lead the title race, he came to grief unaided in BRM Qualifying in Harbin and Liuzhou and was then an innocent passenger in two spectacular offs in Abu Dhabi, yet despite not picking up points in four of six races still finished sixth in the standings.
2018 marks Selio’s 21st season in the F1H2O Championship and the first race of the year will be his 150th start where he will be aiming to add to his 25 poles positions, 13 Grand Prix wins and 33 podiums.
Filip Roms gets the green light for his seventh season alongside Selio and remarkably is still one of the youngest on the tour at 24. Of the current crop of racers, at 18 he became the youngest driver to make his F1H2O debut and post points, finishing in seventh in Qatar in his first outing. He then became the youngest to podium at 21 in France in 2015. He has finished on the podium twice, has a best P2 in qualifying and highest season-ranking of sixth.