Last week, Formula 1 organizers have announced that they will be stopping the practice of having walk-on grid girls beginning the 2018 season. They believe that having grid girls is no longer appropriate in today's modern view and in line with their vision for Formula 1. Instead, organizers have announced that they will be replaced by 'Grid Kids' this season.
Together with the FIA, Formula 1 organizers announced that they will be selecting unique youngsters and their families to be part of the race's opening ceremonies. Specifically, these children are ones that compete in karting or junior formula series and will be chosen by their respective motorsports club either 'on merit, or by lottery.'
Why have children instead of girl on the grid? Formula 1 organizers believes that the having kids on the grid would help promote the sport to a much younger audience. It will also help encourage those children already in the racing scene to try and reach for their Formula 1 dreams by meeting their hero drivers.
“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,” said Jean Todt, FIA president.
Different grid kids will be chosen at the start of every Formula 1 Grand Prix. Organizers also hope to have grid kids for other series such as Formula 2 and GP3.