Formula 1 is to replace ‘grid girls’ with a new programme called ‘grid kids’ this season.
F1 bosses plan to use budding racing drivers “to make the pre-race ceremony more relevant and interesting for fans, especially the younger ones”.
The sport said last week it would no longer be using female promotional models on the starting grid.
The children used will be competitors in karting or junior categories, chosen by national motorsport authorities.
“This will be an extraordinary moment for these youngsters,” F1’s American commercial chief Sean Bratches said.
“Imagine, standing beside their heroes, watch as they prepare to race, and 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.”
More to follow