JOHANNESBURG: Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has welcomed the move to replace the `grid girls` with the `grid kids` at every Formula One race of the 2018 season.
Liberty Media, the F1's American owners, had earlier polarised fans by announcing the removal of the long-standing practice of using grid girls in the lead-up to F1 races , saying "it does not resonate with brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms."
Reflecting on the same, Bottas said that though ` grid girls` have been a part of the motorsport for quite a long time now, the idea of introducing children in the F1 would be great idea.
"Generally speaking, grid girls have been part of motorsport but in the future, they will no longer be at the F1 races. Over the years there were some races where we did not have them already,” Sport24 quoted Bottas, as saying.
"The positive side is that many children's dreams can now be realised with access to the grid with the drivers. I think that's really cool," he added.
Echoing similar views, Jorn Teske, marketing boss at Hockenheim, said that `grid kids` would help in grabbing the attention of the younger audience.
"We were informed in advance that a change is planned. We do not know the details of the implementation yet. Even though grid girls would still be very welcomed by us, the idea of grid kids has merit as well. Formula one needs a new, younger audience and if grid kids help with that, that's a nice idea,” Teske added.
The grid kids will be chosen by the motorsport clubs, with the lucky few getting a chance to accompany and stand alongside the 20 best drivers in the world on the grid as they prepare for the race.