Gustav Malja will compete in his second race around the streets of Monaco this weekend but his first in the GP2 Series when he lines up for the Italian-based Rapax team.
The Swedish driver secured a points finish in the season opening round in Spain two weeks ago, and feels his experience from racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series back in 2015 will enable him to get up to speed quicker this weekend as he will not have to learn the track.
”Monaco is a unique race, and I can’t wait to get out there in GP2,” said Malja. ”I learned a lot from my visit last year, and just having driven the track should make things quite a bit easier this time around.
“It’s an extremely narrow lap with no room for error – you need to be very precise racing at 250km/h between the barriers. I can draw on that experience from last year, and I know it will help me get up to speed a little sooner. It’s an incredibly rewarding challenge.
“We had a positive start to the season in Barcelona, I really like the way we work inside the team, and I’m feeling optimistic going into this weekend.”
Malja knows the importance of a strong qualifying performance around the streets of Monaco, with the session to be split this weekend to try and lessen the effects of traffic around the notoriously tight and twisty circuit.
”We qualified sixth in Barcelona, which was definitely a strong result for us at this early stage of the season,” revealed Malja. “In Monaco, it will be even more important to get it right.
“You need to make the most of every lap, be proactive, and bank in the times. We will be split in two groups for qualifying this weekend, which is largely positive as it reduces the risk of ending up in traffic, but it also means we will be getting just half the amount of track time.
“It will be an interesting session, for sure, and it’s likely to have a very direct bearing on the end result.”