Formula 1 has announced a partnership with FIA to introduce Grid Kids to inspire the younger generation of drivers.
The announcement comes three days after the F1 revved up its modernization drive by banning the use of walk-on grid girls from the start of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after deciding that the practice was ‘out of tune’ with its vision for the sport.
The 'Grid Kids' will be selected by their motorsport clubs on merit or by lottery and will already be competing in karting or junior formulae. Also, local Grand Prix promoters will work with ASN's (the FIA-recognised national sporting authorities) to select the kids.
Sean Bratches, F1 managing director of commercial operations said: “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.”
FIA president Jean Todt said: “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.
"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.”