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Formula 1 gives grid girls the flick

By Andy Enright, 01 Feb 2018 Motorsport

Formula 1 gives grid girls the flick

Promoters claim grid glamour is “at odds with modern day societal norms”

THE governing body running Formula 1 has announced that the practice of using scantily-clad women standing in front of cars on Grand Prix grids has been abandoned, because it no longer aligns with the sport’s brand values nor reflects contemporary societal tastes.

A statement issued on Wednesday ditched the long-standing tradition not only for Formula 1 races but also for all supporting race series that take place on F1 weekends.

“Over the last year, we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” said Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations at Formula 1.


“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans; old and new across the world,” he added.

Under the aegis of Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1 was never the most progressive sport in the way it represented the interests of anyone other than wrinkled billionaires, and this change has come belatedly, Formula 1 lagging behind the enlightened sport of darts in this regard; the Professional Darts Council announcing their ban on walk-on girls a few days prior to the Formula 1 decree.

There has been a slight unease within the Formula 1 community about the anachronistic nature of squeezing models into clothes too small for them and standing them in front of cars to hold a sign, doing a job that could easily be performed by a cardboard cut-out or a Roomba.


In 2015, the organisers of the Monaco GP experimented with grid boys. Sebastian Vettel was notably unenthused and said, jokingly, "Why didn't we have any grid girls today? What was that? F---! You get there and park behind George or Dave. What's the point?"

Vettel was outspoken again at the Brazilian GP, still miffed by the concept of sitting at eye-level with a bloke’s arse crack and told Das Bild, "There are grid boys here? I will go on strike! I will have to talk to Bernie Ecclestone about that."

Niki Lauda had a similarly Blatter-esque opinion. "Grid boys is a terrible idea," said the F1 legend, "especially in this land of the most beautiful women, Carnival and Samba.”

So, if you happen to see a beautiful woman with an oversized umbrella looking rather dejected outside a local Centrelink come March, you’ll know the score. Do you agree or disagree with the ruling? Hit the comments on Facebook to let us know.

The 2018 Formula 1 season starts next month, in Melbourne.

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