There will be no more grid girls in Formula 1 with immediate effect. F1 described the practice of glamorous women holding drivers’ grid boards as “at odds with modern day societal norms.”
And the same will apply to all the support categories on the F1 race programme like F2 and GP3.
Announcing the move, Formula 1 noted that “Formula 1 considers the time spent by teams and drivers on the grid before a race as one of celebration, where guests and various performers can add to the glamour and spectacle of the Grand Prix, enabling promoters and partners to showcase their countries and products.”
With a growing international response to gender equality and the rise of the #metoo movement, F1 has been held up as a bad example for its use of glamour models on the grid. This was clearly something that did not sit well with the new management team.
There have long been calls from many women working in F1 for the practice to be stopped. The idea of grid boys was trialled once in an attempt to find balance, but it was widely ridiculed by drivers.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 made the additional comment:
“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.
“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.”
It remains to be seen whether this will start a chain reaction in other FIA sanctioned series and events, such as WEC and the Macau Grand Prix (below) and whether MotorGP will also follow suit.
All photos: LAT Images
What do you think of this move to ban grid girls? Was it an idea well past its sell by date? Leave your comments below