Formula One announced Monday that it is replacing “grid girls” with “grid kids” during pre-race ceremonies.
The organization, which is partnering with Federation Internationale de l’Automobile to implement the change, said in a press release that children will be chosen by merit or lottery from youth organizations and stand alongside drivers at every Formula One race, as well as races in lower tiers when possible.
“This will be an extraordinary moment for these youngsters,” Formula One managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches said in a statement.
Formula One announced last week that there would no longer be “grid girls” before its races, nor “podium girls” during award presentations. Bratches said the presence of the women “does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.”
The move frustrated current and former “grid girls,” who took to social media to voice their criticism. One former “grid girl,” Rebecca Cooper, wrote on Twitter that the change was “PC gone mad.”
The Formula One season will start with the Australian Grand Prix next month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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