Less than a week after confirming that it would no longer use grid girls at races, Formula One announced they’ll be replaced by grid kids starting with the 2018 season. The grid kids will be actual children—and the children are our FUTURE—not adult women whose very being is lessened by others repeatedly referring to them to as “girls.”
Grid kids will get to accompany drivers before each race, and local grands prix promoters will help choose who gets to participate from children who compete in youth racing series.
The chosen kids at each F1 race will get paddock passes for themselves and their families, and children will also be part of the pre-race ceremonies for major feeder series when they share a race weekend with F1.
F1 said the move is intended to make pre-race ceremonies “more relevant and interesting for fans, especially the younger ones.” From the announcement:
The joint initiative will involve the local Grand Prix promoter working alongside ASNs – the FIA-recognised national sporting authorities – who will provide a unique opportunity to youngsters and their families to be part of one of the most exclusive and exciting moments of the whole race weekend.
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.
Both F1 Managing Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches, and Jean Todt, the president of F1’s governing body, the FIA, said the idea will help in a couple of ways—kids will get to stand by the drivers they look up to, perhaps motivating them to one day be drivers themselves.
Our take? Good move. Not only does this move replace the outdated stereotype of women adorning a male-dominated grid, it’ll also hopefully help professional racing feel more tangible and realistic to even the kids whose parents aren’t unfathomably wealthy or past champions.
Anyway, good for the children, who it must again be noted are OUR FUTURE. They’re better for the spotlight than the stark gender divides that lasted far too long in the first place.