Born: November 4, 1995
Lives: Malmö, Sweden
Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation (2010 & 2015)
Rydell Special Award (2011 & 2012)
McLaren Performance Academy – Driver of the Year (2014)
Gustav Malja, 22, began his career in motorsport in the Formula Micro karting category in 2006. Quickly progressing through the ranks in his native Sweden, Malja won the Gothenburg Grand Prix – one of the country’s major karting races – in 2009, while also running away with the Swedish Championship KF3 title.
Meanwhile, he also achieved international success with a series of strong outings in continental Europe, allowing him to step up into single-seater racing in the German ADAC Formel Masters championship in 2011. Malja’s foray onto the single-seater stage at just 15 years of age didn’t go by unnoticed, with touring car ace Rickard Rydell duly rewarding him with the prestigious Rydell Special Award.
In 2012, Malja continued to gain experience with a second year in ADAC Formel Masters, scoring three wins and a full 16 podiums en route to second place in the standings, again receiving the Rydell Special Award.
For 2013, Malja signed a deal to race in the 40-car Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup together with reigning champions Josef Kaufmann Racing (Germany). He remained with the team for a second year in 2014, dovetailing another season of Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup commitments with an all-out assault on the sister Northern European Cup (NEC) where he finished fifth overall after claiming two race victories.
2015 marked a significant career move for Malja, as he stepped up to the highly-acclaimed Formula Renault 3.5 Series – previously contested by the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr. Racing for British outfit Strakka Racing, Malja wound up a strong ninth in the overall standings, scoring two podiums in Hungary and Germany respectively to establish himself as one of the championship’s top rookies. He also completed three GP2 Series guest appearances during the year.
2016 saw Malja progress full-time into GP2 Series, the main Formula 1 feeder category, teaming up with Italian outfit Rapax. He finished 13th overall with two podiums to his tally (at Spa and Monza), and moved on to compete for Spanish squad Racing Engineering in the rebranded FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017, finishing on the podium in Monaco.
In 2018, Malja races in both the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland championships.