Team Rapax has completed its 2016 GP2 Series line-up with the signing of Formula Renault 3.5 standout Gustav Malja alongside the already-confirmed Arthur Pic.
The young Swede made his FR3.5 debut last season with Strakka Racing, claiming two podiums en route to ninth overall, as well as make his GP2 Series debut mid-way through the year with a point-scoring turn driving for Arden at Silverstone.
Subsequently called up by Rapax to race in the final two events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi as well, Malja duly impressed team bosses enough to secure a full-time drive for 2016.
“This is an incredible opportunity, and I'm just thrilled that my preferred option for 2016 has now become a reality. Racing in GP2 this season will be a massive challenge, but also a real pleasure and something I can't wait to do.
“I really enjoyed working with Rapax towards the end of last year and learned a lot, so I have the benefit of feeling well at home going into my rookie campaign. I hope to take considerable steps throughout the season and I really want to thank the team and everyone around me for making this possible.”
The Italian team, which enjoyed a strong 2015 campaign with another FR3.5 graduate Sergey Sirotkin, is hoping Malja and the experienced Arthur Pic can replicate that race winning success this year.
“After welcoming Pic, we are delighted to announce a young talented racer like Malja,” said Rapax CEO Andrea Bergamini. “Their mix is perfect for the team as they are already gearing-up for the 2016 season. Last year we proved we can be a perfect training camp for young rookies, and we will provide Malja with all our experience in an effort to highlight his potential.
“We are really satisfied to have him because we already had the chance to work together in the final part of the 2015 season. For the whole team, this is a true indication of the good chemistry established right away with Gustav. We are approaching a long and challenging year relying on a talented duo featuring Pic's experience and Malja's determination.”