Formula One Ends Use Of ‘Grid Girls’ At Grand Prix Races, Women Respond
Formula One has announced grid girls will no longer be present at Grand Prix races beginning in the 2018 World Championship season.
F1 Getting Rid of Grid Girls
Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations, said the change would be made “so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport.”
Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsports, told BBC Radio 5 live in December that the use of female promotional models was “under review.”
The new F1 season begins on March 25.
“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,” Bratches added.
“We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
The managing director of British circuit Silverstone, Stuart Pringle, said: “We wholeheartedly support the decision by F1 to drop the use of grid girls – it is an outdated practice that no longer has a place in sport.”
Formula 1’s move comes days after the Professional Darts Corporation said walk-on female models will no longer be used at competitions.
Some women have already begun criticizing both organizations’ decisions, saying some girls rely on these types of professions as their sole source of income. Among the concerns raised by the two organizations are the uproar from some that women are being objectified.
“It’s upsetting and I’m rather disgusted that F1 have given in to the minority to be politically correct,” part-time grid girl Charlotte Gash told BBC Radio 5 live. “I’m one of the lucky ones that I don’t rely on this as a main source of income, but there are girls out there who do.”
“I know the grid girls are there to look pretty when they’re out on the grid but my role was interacting with the crowd and we were there as an advertisement for the sponsors. We love doing it we don’t want it taken away from us.”
Kelly Brook, a PDC model, slammed darts bosses for caving in to “snowflakes” in removing girls from events.
Red Bull’s British boss Christian Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, said grid girls add glamour to F1.
“We’ve had grid boys and that’s been criticized,” Horner said in November. “In Austria we’ve had children going on to the drivers’ trailers and that has been criticized.
“You are never going to get it right and we live in a modern society and we have to be open to everything.”
“Women play a key role and, borrowing a phrase from my wife, girl power is very strong in F1.”
Horner also pointed to the fact that several women are working in senior positions within racing while maintaining a busy personal life. He cited Claire Williams, a new mother who runs the Williams team, as an example.
French F1 driver Romain Grosjean said this:
I don’t care, I’m married with the most beautiful girl on earth! https://t.co/VgpNfQaHUY
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) January 31, 2018
In December, BBC Sport conducted a poll on whether grid girls should remain a part of F1, and 60 percent of respondents said they should be.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 30: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)