The 17-year-old was presented with the Rydell Special Award at the weekend in his native Sweden. Reigning Formel ADAC vice-champion Malja was awarded the trophy for his impressive performance in the Formel ADAC Academy - three wins and 16 podium finishes in 2012 - and moves up to the prestigious Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2013. This is the second time in a row that Swedish motor racing icon Rickard Rydell has presented the trophy to the 17-year-old. Malja is the fourth driver since the award´s inception in 1999 to receive the honour twice in succession.
"This is huge for me, and I´m genuinely honoured to have received the Rydell Special Award for the second year running," said Malja during the gala in Stockholm. "Rickard Rydell is a source of much inspiration for every young racing driver - including myself - and it feels fantastic to know that he seems to believe in me. I had no idea that I was going to win this prize again this year, so I was definitely a bit shocked when I heard my name being announced! Big, wholehearted thanks to Rickard Rydell and to everybody who is trying to support me in my career!"