Mascots are a big part of many sporting events, but Formula 1 has never really embraced the idea – until now. Liberty Media has decided that the sport needs one, and it’s being revealed in Shanghai next week as part of the ‘Heineken F1 Festival’.

Called ‘Axel’, apparently the mascot “will elevate the atmosphere of the F1 Festivals through edgy entertainment and impressive urban dance skills to engage with the audience. Axel will also have some gaming experience and will join guests on the various games around the Festival.” Sure, it sounds a bit cringe, but if it appeals to young fans then that has to be a good thing.

The Heineken F1 Festival draws on the appeal of last year’s F1 Live event in London. The first one takes place in Shanghai during the Chinese GP weekend and will feature various F1-related events and activities for fans, as well as a few live music performances.

It’s the first of four festivals taking place this year – the others will be in Marseille (during the French GP weekend), Berlin (during the German GP weekend) and Miami (during the US GP weekend). The aim is to bring the sport to new audiences and Axel the F1 mascot will be a part of it.