Formula 1: No More Grid Girls
The new Formula 1 season officially gets underway on March 25th. It will all be there: the cars, the pits, the adrenaline. Everything but the grid girls. Word started to spread in December already, when F1 MD of motorsports, Ross Brawn, revealed on air whilst being interviewed on BBC5 radio that the use of promotional models in Formula 1 was under review and the entire idea re-assessed.
Sean Bratches, managing director of F1’s commercial operations, recently made the speculations official when he confirmed that the use of grid girls was no longer in tune with F1’s vision for the great sport of motor-racing.
Bratches elaborated by adding that the convention of employing grid girls had been an integral part of Formula 1, a staple if you will, but that the practice did not resonate with what the Formula 1 brand stood for any longer. He said that it was clearly at complete odds with modern-day societal norms and uses.
Bratches finished off by saying that the practice was no longer relevant to the sport.
An Outdated Concept
Stuart Pringle, managing director of British Silverstone wholeheartedly agrees with the decision, saying that management at Silverstone circuit agrees with the reasoning behind the decision; that there is no longer a place for the concept in any sport and that it has become completely outdated.
Formula 1’s announcement comes on the back of much of the same by the Professional Darts Corporation. The Corporation announced last week that walk-on girls would no longer be used at events.
The Women’s Sport Trust welcomed the announcements. The trust immediately issued a statement encouraging other sports to follow the example set by Formula 1 and World Darts. The statement stressed the importance of reconsidering the use of ring girls and podium girls, also adding that it was not a matter of feminists vs. models, which was how many people preferred to view the issue.
Whether the general public agrees with the revised points of view is another story altogether. A public poll conducted by the BBC during December revealed that 60% of participants in the survey voted yay on the question of whether or not the girls should stay.
What’s even more surprising is that the majority of grid girls who were questioned about the matter agree with the general population, saying that many of the girls relied on the events as their only means of income.
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