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German GP boss supportive of 'grid kids' initiative


Hockenheim's marketing boss says the idea of replacing girls with kids on Formula 1's starting grids in the future could help the sport appeal to a younger audience.

Liberty Media has taken the controversial decision to take F1's glamour girls off the grid, believing the long standing tradition no longer resonates with the sport's brand values and modern day societal norms.

F1 has introduced a 'grid kids' scheme from this year, giving the chance to young aspiring champions to join Grand Prix drivers on the starting grid.

"We were informed in advance that a change is planned," said Jorn Teske, marketing boss at Hockenheim, which will host the return this year of the German GP to the F1 calendar.

"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 1 needs a new, younger audience and if grid kids helps with that, that's a nice idea," he added."

F1's decision sparked a fierce online debate between progressives and traditionalists, with both camps arguing their opinions.

While Renault's Nico Hulkenberg has expressed his disappointment over the girls departure from the grid, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas has taken a more open view.

"Generally speaking, grid girls have been part of motor sport but in the future they will no longer be at the F1 races," the Finn told Ilta Sanomat newspaper.

"Over the years there were some races where we did not have them already.

"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."

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