Formula E digs F1 over grid girls despite more recent usage

Randolph Lopez
February 6, 2018

A Formula E spokesperson ensured that the usage of grid girls in Hong Kong was "specifically requested" by the local promoter, adding: "This won't be the case in the future".

The notable thing 68-year-old Lauda and octogenarian Ecclestone do have in common is their accumulation of birthday candles.

Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One, said: "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".

Former F1 grid girl Kelly Brook said it was one of the best jobs she ever hadWho has criticised the move?

FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT: AUTOWEEK published a Q&A with British grid girl Samantha Young "to get the feelings of someone now down a job for the year". "We all shout about the vote and the ladies who fought for it and I want us all to remember that" she declared, while also noting that her grid girl experience gained her other modelling assignments. In a statement he said the company: "Doesn't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula One and its fans, old and new, across the world". Many of them have spoken out about the issue on social media in the wake of the announcement, and it's definitely worth hearing what they have to say. If a company relies heavily on pretty women promoting them, then maybe they need to rethink their brand. It feels rather unoriginal and for a woman who is getting into the sport, can lead to being self-conscious just by virtue of being female. I hope that women will be encouraged to participate in Motorsport in all ways that suit their own individual choices.

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"Women have emancipated themselves and do very well at this is a decision against women".

There's understandably been some public frustration among women who make money contracting as models for auto races.

Lauda said, "I think it's a great pity to break a tradition such as this, which does Formula 1 - but above all, women - no favors at all".

Rebecca Cooper, another grid girl, tweeted: "If we don't do something to stop this where will it end?" This is not doing any favors to F1 and especially not for women. Formula E instead focused on using young and aspiring drivers to perform the role as "Grid Kids" (REUTERS, 2/1).

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