Nineteen-year-old Swedish prospect Gustav Malja has joined the Strakka Racing team for the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season.
The teenager impressed during the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC), winning twice on his way to finishing fifth in the championship, and also took a podium finish in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Series championship driving for Josef Kaufmann Racing.
He is also part of the Swedish national motor racing team and was in the 2014 McLaren Performance Academy.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be stepping up to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Strakka Racing this season,” said Malja. “I’ve felt immediately at home with the team, and we share the same view about how to go racing. I’m convinced that their way of working will allow me to get the most out of myself in my rookie year.
“Joining this championship will mark the greatest challenge of my career so far, but I learned a lot in winter testing and I do feel well-prepared. This is a fantastic opportunity; I can’t wait for the season to get underway.”
Strakka Racing Team Principal Dan Walmsley was happy to be able to sign Malja to his team, and believes the Swede is one to watch for the future, and hopes to be able to announce the teams’ second driver in due course.
“Gustav is definitely one to watch and we are delighted to have such a focused and committed driver at Strakka Racing,” said Walmsley. “Getting Gustav signed early means we can start straight away on our in-house simulator together with the Strakka Performance team and build upon Gustav’s impressive winter testing.
“The World Series by Renault in our view offers the ideal preparation for F1. Getting our first driver signed at the very start of the year underlines both its appeal and the unique support on and off track that Strakka provides to serious and committed racing drivers. We expect to announce our second driver soon.”
Strakka Racing ran with Briton Will Stevens and Finn Matias Lainé during the last two seasons, with Stevens winning twice for the team during the 2014 season at Monza and Jerez. They have also plans to run at least two cars, possibly three in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship in 2015.