Formula One and the FIA announced on Monday that starting with the 2018 FIA Formula One world championship season, a new initiative called ‘Grid Kids’ will replace the ‘Grid Girls’ at Grand Prix events around the globe.
In a move similar to the football mascots at football games, the kids will be picked before each race weekend and will accompany the Formula One drivers to the grid and will stand alongside the drivers during the national anthem.
The grid kids will be accompanied by their immediate families who will have access to the paddock for the race on Sunday.
Speaking about the news, Formula One commercial operations Managing Director Sean Bratches commented on the news by saying:
This will be an extraordinary moment for these youngsters: imagine, standing beside their heroes, watch as they prepare to race, the elite of the elite in motorsport, to be there, alongside them in those precious few minutes just before the start. What an unforgettable experience, for them, and their families. An inspiration to keep driving, training and learning so that they can dream of one day being there themselves. What better way to inspire the next generation of Formula 1 heroes.
FIA President Jean Todt commented by saying:
Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor sport and the dream of every young racer competing the junior series that make up the FIA’s single-seater pyramid, from karting all the way to F1. We are therefore delighted to bring that dream a little closer by giving the future champions of our sport the opportunity to stand alongside their heroes on the grid in the build-up to the race start. For the wider FIA, this is an excellent initiative that provides additional support to our member ASNs in their efforts to grow motorsport worldwide through a unique reward they can make available to youngsters participating in their national series.