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.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.