Formula One to use ‘grid kids’ in place of ‘grid girls’
Scheme will be formed of competitors from the junior categories of motor racing
Formula One has announced that “grid kids” will replace “grid girls” from the start of the 2018 season. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Formula One has announced “grid kids” will be used this season after the sport controversially abolished its long-standing association with grid girls.
F1’s American owners Liberty Media denounced the long-standing practice of using female models before grands prix as “at odds with modern-day societal norms”.
The grid kids scheme, which will come into effect at F1’s season-opening race in Melbourne next month, will be formed of competitors already in the junior categories of motor racing.
The youngsters will be selected by local motor racing authorities, and F1 bosses hope the change will be of greater appeal to the sport’s younger fans.
“This will be an extraordinary moment for these youngsters,” F1’s American commercial chief Sean Bratches said.
“Imagine, standing beside their heroes, watch as they prepare to race, and 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 One heroes.”
Jean Todt, president for F1’s governing body, the FIA, added: “Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport and the dream of every young racer competing in 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.”