Gustav Malja: “Everything really does happen in GP2”

Gustav Malja - Credit: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service

Gustav Malja believes the luck that handed him a second consecutive GP2 Series podium finish at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza was just rewards for the bad luck the Swede had earlier this season.

The Rapax driver claimed his best Feature race finish to date with third on Saturday, but got extremely fortunate after the chaotic scenes behind the safety car when it picked up the wrong leader and allowed Malja as well as Raffaele Marciello and Antonio Giovinazzi a free pit stop that promoted them to the front.

“That was a race to remember; everything really does happen in GP2,” said Malja. ”We were lucky with the deployment of the safety car, let’s be honest about that, but I’ll take that any time.

“We were really unlucky at the beginning of the season, so this, in a way, is just compensation. I also think we were genuinely strong in the race and the pace was good on both the prime and option tyres.

“It’s incredible to be on the podium for the second race in succession, and again I have to thank the team for giving me a great car and executing the perfect strategy.”

Malja also secured points during Sunday’s Sprint race, but his seventh place finish could have been fourth had it not been for a ten-second time penalty handed out for an opening lap clash with Mitch Evans that spun the Campos Racing driver out of the race.

Despite this, Malja admits the results coming at the moment are just reward for all the hard work Rapax have put in to turning their season around after early season struggles saw them languishing towards the back.

”It’s so rewarding for everyone in the team to see all our hard work over the last couple of months,” said Malja. “I feel more and more confident in the car, which is absolutely crucial, and the experience really does help.

“I’m really pleased and we’ll now work even harder to try and maintain this over the final two rounds.”