'Grid kids' to replace 'grid girls' at F1 races

Formula 1 will replace 'grid girls" with "grid kids" starting this season, as it continues to try to build a more family-friendly environment for the series.

The move comes just days after the series announced it would no longer be using so-called 'grid girls' to accompany drivers to their cars,. and perform other promotional tasks during race weekends, calling the practice "at odds with modern day societal norms."

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Germany vs France - RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany - November 14, 2017   Germany players lined up during their national anthem    REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen - RC19524AA2F0

Many professional and international soccer competitions begin with children accompanying the players onto the field.  (Reuters)

Instead, race organizers will work with local motorsports clubs to recruit children to stand with the drivers before races, similar to what many soccer leagues do before games.

The latest initiative is joint venture by the FIA — motorsport's governing body — and F1's owners.

Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix 2017 - Suzuka Circuit, Japan - October 8, 2017. Grid girl walk at the circuit. REUTERS/Toru Hanai - RC190E480F70

Many of the grid girls took to social media to blame feminists for taking away their jobs.  (AP)

FIA President Jean Todt says "Grid Kids" gives "future champions of our sport the opportunity to stand alongside their heroes."

Sean Bratches, F1's managing director of commercial operations, adds: "What better way to inspire the next generation of Formula 1 heroes."

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F1 is owned by Liberty Media, which is changing the way the sport is run since taking over from former commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone in January 2017.

The season starts on March 25 at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Associated Press contributed to to this report