Formula One have revealed that the replacement for the “Grid Girls” in the 2018 season and beyond will be the “Grid Kids”.
Last week, Formula One made an announcement that they would be doing away with “Grid Girls” starting in the 2018 season. This decision was met with praise from some, but it was met with far more criticism from many more others.
Bernie Ecclestone, the chairman emeritus of the Formula One group who was replaced as the group’s chief executive in January of 2017, and three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda were among those most critical of the decision made by Formula One to get rid of these girls.
Now, Formula One have announced that there will be a replacement for the “Grid Girls” starting in the 2018 season and perhaps going beyond the 2018 season since these girls will no longer have roles within the sport.
It was announced on Monday that “Grid Kids” would be the replacement for the “Grid Girls” beginning in this upcoming season.
According to ESPN, these “Grid Kids” will be chosen by local motorsport authorities on the basis of merit or by lottery ahead of each race weekend. They will also partake in pre-race ceremonies for support events, and their immediate families, who will accompany them, will be given access to the Formula One paddock on the day of the race at which their relative is a “Grid Kid”.
Here is what FIA President Jean Todt had to say about this joint venture between the FIA and Formula One, according to ESPN.
“Formula One 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.”
Formula One Managing Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches, who made the announcement that the “Grid Girls” would not be returning to the sport in the 2018 season and beyond, stated the following about the “Grid Kids”, according to ESPN.
“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 One heroes.”
All in all, it seems like this is the right decision, especially if the “Grid Kids” stay in future seasons. There were clearly a lot of upset people when the announcement of the “Grid Girls” removal was made, so it is great that Formula One have found a replacement, especially since that replacement involves young children, which the Formula One fanbase and the fanbases of most major racing series have come to lack in recent years.