The FIA has announced the launch of its 'F1 Future Stars' initiative, which will see the introduction of child mascots at each grand prix weekend.
Earlier in the year, the FIA announced the removal of grid girls in Formula One and this initiative is seen as a direct replacement. The youngsters, who will be aged between seven and ten years old, will act as mascots for each of the grid's 20 drivers on race day.
The Future Stars will be chosen by the race promoter ahead of each event, where they will have the opportunity to interact with the drivers and stand by them during the staging of the national anthem on the grid prior to the race.
"It gives me great pleasure to provide these aspiring drivers involved in the FIA F1 Future Stars programme the opportunity to be part of the race ceremony and in proximity to their Formula One heroes on a Grand Prix Sunday," said Sean Bratches, F1's Managing Director, Commercial.
"These boys and girls, already engaging with the sport at junior level, are the lifeblood and the future of Formula One. The memory of standing by the best drivers in the world, while their country's national anthem is being played, is one that will stay with them for many years to come, and hopefully inspire them to continue their pursuit of a career in motorsport."