F1 will replace grid girls with grid kids for the coming season. The decision to no longer use models on the starting grid was made last week, with F1 managing director of commercial operations, Sean Bratches, saying the practice of using grid girls did not fit in with companies values.
The grid kids programme will see aspiring racing drivers from each countries various karting and junior formula series, and will be chosen by national motorsport clubs according to either performance or lottery. The kids will be accompanied by their immediate family who will also get paddock access for their particular Grand Prix.
Sean Bratches said this on the new initiative: “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.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing