Formula One and the FIA have announced a new initiative which will see Grid Kids replace Grid Girls for 2018.
The organsation says the partnership is more ‘relevant’ to the modern day F1 audience than the former Grid Girls tradition. The children invited to stand beside the cars on the grid will be young karters.
“The youngsters will be chosen by their motorsport clubs on merit, or by lottery, and will already be competing in karting or junior formulae. The lucky few will then be able to accompany and stand alongside the 20 best drivers in the world on the grid as they prepare for the race.”
Grid Kids will not only be a feature of F1, but also, where possible, the support series – F2 and GP3. Speaking about the new initative, Sean Bratches, F1’s Managing Director of Commercial Operations, says the experience will be ‘unforgettable’:
“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.”
Meanwhile, the debate over the ending of the Grid Girls tradition still rumbles on.
Nicky Haldenby is a 24 year old Formula One blogger from Scarborough, England. Having grown up with F1 often on the TV on Sunday afternoons, Nicky has been following the sport avidly since 2006. He graduated from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature and founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in March 2016. Nicky also writes for Badger GP and can be heard regularly as a guest on the Last Lap Podcast.