Colombo Gazette

Sports

Formula 1 to stop using ‘grid girls’ this season

‘Grid girls’ will no longer be used by Formula 1 from the start of the 2018 World Championship season.

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”.

F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn told BBC Radio 5 live in December that the use of female promotional models was “under review”.

The new F1 season begins on 25 March.

“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.”

Stuart Pringle, managing director of British circuit Silverstone, said: “We wholeheartedly support the decision by F1 to drop the use of grid girls – it is an outdated practice that no longer has a place in sport.”

Last week, the Professional Darts Corporation said walk-on girls will no longer be used at events.

The Women’s Sport Trust said in a statement: “We strongly encourage sports such as cycling, boxing and UFC to follow darts and Formula 1 and reconsider the use of podium girls, ring girls and octagon girls.

“This is not a matter of feminists versus models, which seems to be the way many people want to portray this story.

“These changes are taking place because global businesses are making a considered choice about how women should be valued and portrayed in their sports in 2018. They deserve significant credit for doing so.”

In December, BBC Sport carried out a vote on whether ‘grid girls’ should be part of Formula 1, with 60% saying that they should be. (Courtesy BBC)

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