F1 organizers announced they will no longer use ‘grid girls’ from the start of the 2018 World Championship season.
Formula 1 is a sport that’s commonly in a state of flux. Every year, technical rules change, and the actual cars evolve in turn. An F1 staple that’s stuck around through the decades, however, is the sports’ use of grid girls. As of this new season, which starts March 25, Formula One organizers will consign that practice to the history books.
Back in December, F1 managing director Ross Brawn told BBC Radio that the use of female promotional models was “under review”. Now, Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations states, “…we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and is clearly at odds with modern day societal norms.”
Formula 1 historically used grid girls to carry out promotional duties. That involved wearing the clothing with the names of certain sponsors for F1 events. They would also carry signs bearing drivers’ names on the grid.
As conversation surrounding grid girls has shifted, so to has the decision to keep them as part of the sport. According to Stuart Pringle, managing director of the Silverstone racing circuit, “We wholeheartedly support the decision by F1 to drop the use of grid girls – it is an outdated practice that no longer has a place in sport.”
The first F1 race of the season will be the 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.