Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Formula One to Stop Using 'Grid Girls'

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin right drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Patrick Mc Caw during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The Detroit Pistons dramatica Formula One to Stop Using 'Grid Girls'
Kristopher Love | 01 February, 2018, 04:16

Formula One says it is ending the practice of using "grid girls" and "podium girls" at races.

The announcement comes as little surprise considering Formula 1 execs have previously been vocal about changes being introduced to the sport, which included reviewing the use of grid girls.

The new Formula 1 World Championship season gets underway in March, with the controversial "grid girls" set to be left on the sidelines.

"We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula One and its fans, old and new, across the world", he added.

The role, which dates back to the 1960s and nearly exclusively employs women, traditionally involves the carrying of standards (or banners) showing the drivers' race numbers to their respective grid positions. Women also stand along the victor on the podium after the race.

This decision arrived after Liberty Media began a reinvestigation of the value added by grid girls to the sport with BBC reporting that the decision has been stewing since at least mid-December.

The organisers of some of darts' biggest tournaments, the Professional Darts Corporation, also recently made a decision to stop using walk-on girls.

F1's decision was applauded by the Women's Sport Trust - a charity raising the visibility and increasing the impact of women's sport.

The changes also apply to other motorsports series - such as F2 - that take place on GP weekends.

No one is saying women should be stripped of the right to choose what they do for a living, but it's about the bigger picture of what the grid girls represent and the message it sends. Those defending the role of grid girl argue among other things that taking the job is a matter of choice.

Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton poses with grid girls in Sochi in October 2015.

Grid girls, although long a sight at the track, have been controversial.