Formula 1 has announced that it will end its long-standing practice of using walk-on grid girls at race events, starting from this year’s first championship round in Melbourne.
The traditional grid-girl presence came up for debate last year at Liberty Media and within the F1 community as the practice was called into question by the powers that be who believe it was at odds with progressive trends and would only encourage a gender divide in the sport.
“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, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1.
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“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.”
Bratches’ words and F1’s decision will surely have purists up in arms, not to mention many female individuals who rely on working as a promotional model in F1 or elsewhere, as the ‘progressive’ trend will likely catch on.
An F1i poll conducted in December resulted in a resounding and overwhelming majority of our readers and F1 fans believing the sport should keep the grid-girls.
Many drivers, including Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen also came out in favour of preserving the over 50-year tradition.
We are left to protest in vain however as Formula 1 moves into the ‘progressive’ era…
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