Porsche, World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, 2015

WEC grid girl ban: Should F1 do the same?

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Porsche, World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, 2015Following the World Endurance Championship’s decision to end the practice of using grid girls at its races, I put the case that it is time for F1 to do the same.

It turned out to be one of the most hotly-debated topics we’ve covered on the site in some time, with strongly held views on all sides, and several readers calling for a poll on the subject.

So let’s find out were most F1 fans come down on a matter of the sport’s past versus its future – and its expectations of women.


The tide has turned against the sexist practice of using women as decoration and Formula One has been too slow to keep up with the times.

The lazy assumption that only heterosexual males are interested in racing cars overlooks a substantial part of its audience and sends the wrong message to new fans of the sport that men may compete but women are only there to look good.


Grid girls are a long-established part of motor racing in general and in F1, where they became commonplace after the first sponsors arrived in the sport in the late sixties and early seventies. They are part of its heritage now, and it should not throw that away.

F1 has come a long way since the days when naked women were draped across James Hunt’s McLarens. Modern F1 grid girls are more tastefully attired and therefore should not be replaced.

I say

I explained my objection to F1 having grid girls in this article earlier this month.

It seems perverse to me that while many in F1 recognise the huge potential to raise the sport’s profile by bringing women in as competitors, they fail to see how that vision is undermined by the image of F1’s current all-male grid being applauded by identically-dressed ladies before and after each race.

You say

Should F1 follow the World Endurance Championship’s example and end the practice of using grid girls? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should Formula One stop using grid girls?

  • No opinion (7%)
  • F1 should use grid guys instead of grid girls (0%)
  • F1 should use grid guys as well as grid girls (11%)
  • F1 should not stop using grid girls (36%)
  • F1 should stop using grid girls (45%)

Total Voters: 607

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 262 comments on “WEC grid girl ban: Should F1 do the same?”

    1. I made my view clear on the post a while back so I won’t repeat it but I’ll summarise it: either cater for all or cater for none. But personally I’d rather that they cater for none so that is what I went for.

      1. Michael27Steel
        26th April 2015, 13:32

        I love women in general, why the people always think that’s a misogynistic thought. Be honest about this, If women are present, the mood always improved. Not only for their social skills, but also as pleasant appearances. So I really don’t understand this issue at al.

        1. The issue is the ROLE of women, as it’s presented as role models for women in relation to men.

          Do girls stand around admiring the boys, holding things, clapping, or is there more to them?

          1. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 14:36

            Well the could see them as hard working girls for example. The standing there in thin outfits, with warm, cold and even raining weather conditions. To earn some money.
            Most of the girls have a contract as model, and this is just a job for them.
            So what WEC actually is doing, is rob the girls from there well paid job.
            And for what exactly? To let WEC feel better of them self?

            1. Hard work? It’s a job that can literally be done by a block of wood :)

            2. Michael27Steel
              26th April 2015, 16:00

              lockup @
              [ Do girls stand around admiring the boys, holding things, clapping, or is there more to them?]

              [ Hard work? It’s a job that can literally be done by a block of wood ]

              You know that you are discriminating right now.
              If you don’t, I feel sorry for you.

            3. Discrimination can be bad or good Michael. Girls and boys aren’t the same are they? In general it’s good to discriminate between the two.

              But it’s about ROLES not rights. Should girls learn to stand around like dummies while the boys do stuff, or can they have achievements of their own they should be pursuing?

            4. But then isn’t it the wrong fix for the problem? Such roles are reinforced by having women drivers and women team staff, not by banishing grid girls. The way I see it we could have women in all positions.

            5. Aren’t they opposite messages @conradof1? Opposite and contradictory.

            6. Michael27Steel
              27th April 2015, 15:09

              [ Should girls learn to stand around like dummies while the boys do stuff, or can they have achievements of their own they should be pursuing?]

              So what are you assuming? That the girls on the grid only have this job? Most of them are students, models ore work in different sectors in the society. So if you think like this, it is the tough of an sexist and some one who discriminate by the looks only. You making your own impression about person you never ask in real life before. I have work on the circuit in Zandvoort (Holland) as Track Marshal. Speak a lot with this girls, and was surprised were the came from and the reason why the had taking the job.
              After that I had more respect for the way the actually fill in there lives.

            7. Well at many levels we agree Michael don’t we? I would have total respect for the individual girls.

              But surely the fact that you were surprised by their calibre tells us something about that ROLE?

              My concern is what it teaches other girls – maybe young, impressionable girls – to expect of themselves. And what it teaches boys to expect of girls too, of course.

          2. are we becoming suffragettes now?

        2. i wonder how we would see grid girls if they had grid guys who were displayed as success objects Instead of sex objects. Perhaps that would hit a littler closer to home.

          1. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 14:45

            Yeh right RP, guys standing in line to take this kind of job.
            It’s not general in our gene’s to be eye-catcher for women’s in general.
            It is the unknowing tough of some people that the women’s who LIKE
            to do this job are an disgrace for the female population in general.
            We always like to be the judge for other people, and love to control there
            lives. Just ask them who are doing this job, there are actually females to.
            But no………we all know it better. We know how to act in this world.
            Yeh right, dream on, everybody has the right to make there own choice in this life,
            well that’s the way I think about this matter.

          2. Your assumption being that female fans do not see the males on the grid in exactly the same manner that you believe applies to female professional models on the grid?

            My gosh. That seems a bit… ummmm…. sexist.

            1. Michael27Steel
              26th April 2015, 16:04

              Geeyore @
              [Your assumption being that female fans do not see the males on the grid in exactly the same manner that you believe applies to female professional models on the grid?]
              And you mean that all the female fans are equal on your standard how females should act in general? Think again.

          3. That’s what the drivers are for…

        3. i am a man, previous misogynist, but now adopting lots of feminist values to show respect for women of the world. Michael27Steel is an example of a man that is not trying to harm anyone, and is not harming anyone, but his oppinion is not of equality, and can be deemed sexist. he could do with some enlightenment on the issue of equality. usually men only learn about the subject when they form a bond with a woman that is her own person, rather then a female that has been brainwashed to believing she has a certain female role to play to be acceptable and appealing to men.

          1. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 15:28

            kpcart @ You forget the fact that most of the girls are students to, en try to earn some
            money to fur fill there financial obligations for there studies. Most of them are very
            smart girls and know what there are doing. The don’t think in terms of female roles
            like you pretend to do. And I’m not an sexist, what ever give you that idea? Just because I stand up for these women’s? Let me tell you this. You don’t equality women’s true there jobs, but in your way of thinking. I find women’s in general more the parent hand as compared to men. Because they are in all respects on emotionally, socially and in terms of mental strength the upper hand of men. Calling me an sexist is denying there existences at all, what is making you the sexist.

            1. lol @ Michael27Steel

              You claim to be not sexist. Then proceed to differentiate by gender. I’d laugh if it wasn’t a typical and sad example of how clueless people are on this matter.

            2. Michael27Steel
              27th April 2015, 15:18

              pSynrg :

              The true sexist is living in your mind. I see a women as a social nice person
              with sometimes better ideas how we have to stand in live than we men do.
              A sexist still look at a women as object to have sex with in the first place.
              You maybe can’t see the difference, I do.

          2. Somehow it’s unsurprising that a self-confessed “former misogynist” would think it proper to determine whether female professional models are in economic or cultural positions of “equality.”

            1. Michael27Steel
              26th April 2015, 16:08

              Geeyore @

              You think to much how a other human bean should act and live in this world.
              What do you pretend to be, god?

            2. Come on, don’t be vegetablist! What about the human peas!? And the rest!

          3. @kpcart and all in favor of this. Can you please explain to me the difference between Third wave Feminism and Second wave feminism then i will try and see your point. Can you also please explain to me why Third wave Feminism women are never open to a debate on this. Like he said why not ask the women about it. I know of a case wear an actress said that she love to cook and serve her husband food when see is a home and they her out because it is not her job to serve her husband food and it sends out the wrong msg to women out there. Third wave feminist will not alow women to make there own chooses because most women are against what third wave feminist want women to be.

        4. Personally, I have no opinion on this one. Grid girls add practically nothing to F1 for me. They can stay, they can go, they can add grid guys… It doesn’t matter to me.

          However, I don’t think it is sexist. Attractive females are used all over to promote things. Maybe adding grid guys would be the best way to deal with the sexism angle, but honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is.

          When companies want to sell a product to men, they show a pretty girl. When they want to sell something to women, they show a pretty girl using the product. The female form is attractive to both sexes, and is used accordingly.

          1. Michael27Steel
            27th April 2015, 15:24

            drmouse :

            I really wonder if females would have the same discussion if grid guys were in flavour.


          2. @ drmouse
            [Attractive females are used all over to promote things. Maybe adding grid guys would be the best way to deal with the sexism angle, but honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is.]

            The word “female,” in its primary usage, is an adjective. When you use “female” as a noun, the subject that you’re referring to is erased. That said, since when is “well everyone is doing it so it must be okay” valid justification for something?

    2. Maybe a mix of women, men and children could do the job. Young carters would love to be on the F1 grid holding their favorite drivers board. Competitions could be held by sponsors to raise race weekend awareness, anyone could do it then.

      1. I think children is the best idea. They’d gain way more from the experience of being on the grid. Better than having grown women (or men) just standing there smiling brainlessly.
        As long as it’s not like football where the number of mascots has got out of hand – some matches there’s kids everywhere hanging onto the players as they come onto the pitch.

        1. Yep, something along those lines would be my preferred way forward as well @bullfrog. Kids from the local carting circuit, or maybe aspiring racers, or heck, winners of a “F1 in schools competition” or something.

          The one positive I saw of the Bahrain race promotors is that they seem to have made the race a child friendly/welcoming event. I would love to see more of that.

      2. Yeah, make a small child hold a 6 foot tall metal pole in 30°C heat on a scorching tarmac. Nice and gentle.

        1. Possibly for the kids they could have a stand for the pole with the kid alongside, giving a similar effect. I like the idea of grid kids, dressed in a team shirt etc.

          1. Michael27Steel
            27th April 2015, 15:28

            Yes…sure….do you see a child keep up the umbrella for the driver in his car in a temperature of 35 degrees. Our in the rain. That sure will give the true F1 fan something to think about.

            1. If kids can be mascots in soccer, why not f1?

              Why, @michael27steel, do you seem so vehemently opposed to progress?

    3. No they should not ban grid girls. See, telling girls what they MUST do and what they CAN NOT do is the same form of sexism which is your main point on your for argument. The next thing we know F1 is called sexist because all the people in grid are male and women denied when she want to hold the driver number because it was banned.

      I vote for using grid guys and girls because I think that’s what happening right now too. How it arranged is up to each circuit promoter. After all I don’t think any driver, team, spectators or 99% people that watch F1 give a thought of who hold those number boards. This debate is as silly as helmet livery ban. You trying to make a problem that don’t exist and doesn’t need to.

      1. Also expand it not to just men or women, let the promoter have freedom on what they want use. It could be another income source for them that not taxed (yet) by FOM and may help them. They could get sponsors or even raising awareness on some issue. Heck on breast cancer month maybe some will want to have all women there.

        1. Leaving it up to the promoter is actually a good idea. Let them do what they fancy (within reason, of course).

        2. @sonicslv, exactly, I also voted for mixed gender on exactly the same basis, 2ndly. I looked carefully at the grid in Bahrain (onTV) and not 1 girl did I see holding a sign whereas in MotoGP there are attractive young ladies holding brollies for the drivers which appears to be useful but unskilled function, someone needs to do it so why should women be banned ?

      2. You aren’t telling them what they can’t do. You are just not rehiring them in future. It may not sound like a major distinction, but it really is.

        1. That kind of calculation is precisely and exactly how covert sexists justify their actions.

          1. @geeyore Are you calling me a sexist, or the people who fail to see the massive difference and equate them as the same thing?

            1. There is only one characterization for those who advocate discriminatory action against professionals on the basis of gender.

            2. @geeyore
              First of all, how dare you. Second, I haven’t said anything discriminatory or advocated anything at all. You seem to have completely misunderstood the issue. What you say makes no sense- that they are women is integral to the issue only because of their influence on women watching the sport. Otherwise, their gender has sod all to do with it, which is the point I’m trying to make- they are a group of people whose presence might (and I say might because I don’t actually have a solid opinion until I see evidence) be alienating a large number of people from the sport. That they are women is inconsequent. Nobody is suggesting they are all replaced by men, simply that the job they do may have become redundant. There is frankly nothing vaguely discriminatory in that, and I’d like for you to justify how there is.

            3. You do know what the topic of this thread is, yes? And you do know what you are advocating, correct?

              I rest my case.

            4. Did you not read anything I just wrote and just repeat the point which I said makes no sense?

              I could misrepresent your point too, and say that “discriminatory action against professionals” would include re-hiring them solely on the basis of their gender, which is what you’re advocating…

              Of course that is ridiculous, just like your claim.

          2. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 14:53

            Geeyore @ Let the persons involved decide what the want. It is ultimately their livelihood, smile, outfit, and live what is put on the scales here. Don’t be the judge
            of others, bud judge yourself instead.

        2. @matt90 Well tell me then, if we’re not rehiring them (women) in the future and therefore the role is for men only (or anything but women because we not rehiring them as you said), you won’t call it sexism? I won’t call you sexist but tell me what you will call that situation?

          1. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 15:04

            Discrimination in any form is a bad way to go. Why do you think these women’s want to be on the grid and in the paddock, because the earn money with it. Most of them are models photograph in magazines round the world. I can find any objections about that fact in here. You don’t have to be an sexist to appreciate the likes of a grid girl. Why everybody make such a fuss about something that already exist for decades in motor sport. Look around you worldwide in sport there are women’s who are cheering up a sport event. Why is everybody thinking that’s a bad thing in sport in general. It is just giving by women’s who are not in the same situation like the women’s who like there jobs in general. So I really don’t and ever will understand this argument about the women’s on the grid.

            1. I agree and if you read my first comment I already said this is as silly as helmet ban rule.

            2. Perhaps modelling should be banned also.

          2. No, because that they are women isn’t the reason why they aren’t rehired. In such a situation, they aren’t rehired because the sport doesn’t feel like they add enough to justify potentially alienating a large group of potential fans.

            therefore the role is for men only

            It’s about removing the role, not the women. Nobody’s suggesting men take over. That they are women is entirely immaterial.

            1. Well I misunderstand your 1st reply then. If what you meant is remove the role then I’m OK with that although I think the grid numbers has it uses for people who in the circuit and not having the benefit on GUI overlay in TV. So by removing them, we need a good alternative for showing the information for who watching it in the circuit but that’s another discussion ;)

            2. Michael27Steel
              27th April 2015, 15:31

              So in that case we have to remove the role of dress-men to on the catwalk.
              That’s pure a women thing in your mind of thinking.

            3. Where on Earth did you get that idea?

      3. “Sexism” is discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s sex. It can manifest itself in gender roles, such as being a grid girl. It has nothing to do with telling people what they can or can’t do.

        If you take a look at modern F1, there are plenty of women in various roles. There is one team principal (Monisha Kaltenborn). There is a deputy team principal (Claire Williams). There are engineers and others on plenty of teams who are female. In this respect, F1 is not sexist. In continuing to use grid girls, it is. They may be nice to look at, but the whole concept is out-dated. Why do we need a pretty girl holding a metal stick with a number on the end? We’re here for the racing, surely?

        1. They are professional models, not “grid girls.”

          Sexists masquerading as equality advocates usually cannot fathom how sexist they actually are. In fact the more strident seem unable to stop themselves from sexist rants.

          1. Michael27Steel
            26th April 2015, 15:39

            The word sexist is reverencing to a person who see in any female person a way to
            feel an sex oriented feeling. So it actually is made in your own mind to be an sexist or not. That has nothing do with the respect you feel for a women in general. So it is very cheep to think that if some likes to see women’s on the grid it has to do of the sexist thinking of a person in general. How wrong you can be to only judge a person for you own way of looking at things in this world. I like the looks of a women more than the looks of a men. So I must be a sexist than, right.

            1. The word sexist is reverencing to a person who see in any female person a way to feel an sex oriented feeling.

              The word sexist is referencing discrimination based on gender. This can be positive or negative discrimination. It can be viewed that having grid girls is sexist, because only women are used. However, I will reference my point from a previous comment that this is the case in all advertising and promotions, targeting both male and female audiences. The female form is a good way to promote to both sexes. F1 is not alone in this, it is standard industry practise, right or wrong.

              Seeing a pretty girl and feeling a “sex oriented feeling” is not sexism. In fact it is completely natural. We all feel some sort of arousal when looking at an attractive member of the gender of our preference. This is where the PC brigade often get confused. I will feel no shame in looking at a pretty girl and feeling tingly.

        2. Grid girls doesn’t make women can’t involved in F1 as other roles. You acknowledge Monisha Katelborn and Claire Williams, and there’s also Susie Wolff, Carmen Jorda, and dare I say Liz McKenzie. Those women are pretty much part of F1 and currently coexist with the existence grid girls.

          I can see the use of the metal pole with number of them, but I agree using only beautiful girls is outdated concept. That’s why I say expand the role to others, add something to it. F1 has global exposure surely there will be opportunity to exploit it.

          We’re here for the racing, surely?

          About that, I already said it before in the previous grid girls thread, but in summary F1 is not just racing. If it’s only for racing then we should also abandon the parties in Monaco, concerts in Singapore. Heck, autograph session, merchandising, and press conference also not add anything to the racing. I think you get my point.

          1. I can get you an escorted walk through the pits at Monaco for only EU.1,000.oo or a cocktail part on a yacht for only EU.600.oo

        3. Let’s also ban fireworks, concerts, the national anthem and the podium ceremony. After all, we’re only here for the racing. No grid walks either. Start sending out the video stream when the cars are on the grid, ready to go, and fade to black when the last car finishes.

          1. The difference between the things you’ve named and grid girls is that fireworks, concerts, anthems etc are fun directed at everyone, not just people who find female bodies attractive. Why should I as a woman be made to feel uncomfortable while men around me ogle and objectify grid girls? Why does a role exist that is aimed only at entertaining half of your spectators?

        4. Michael27Steel
          26th April 2015, 15:10

          Jules Winfield@ Who are you to decide how a women makes her money in general.
          Really, you are not in place to judge them, so even not to judge over them.
          The are free persons, with there own will to be on that place, and do what the want to do.
          I can’t judge you the way you want to live and spent your live.
          So please, don’t judge about others, it’s really an arrogance behaviour.

        5. Michael27Steel
          27th April 2015, 15:43

          Not the girl on the grid is the real problem, but rather how some people experienced this in their experience. Female ore men, there always going to be pro and contra toughs about this matter. But you never can be the judge of this, because the girls have a vote on this to.

      4. I think once we have grid girls and guys, we will start to see how gratuitously we objectified these women. Hopefully.

        1. Michael27Steel
          27th April 2015, 15:46

          I think that females never would have a the same discussion about grid guys like we do about grid girls, I’m almost sure of that.

    4. Best way to oppose equal rights is to forbid a gender doing something. I see it more as ‘look at all these things we do for women’, and at the same time a gigantic number of women who possibly loved doing this can’t anymore. There are many sexist things in this world but it is my opinion gridgirls is not one of them. It’s not like there are numerous stories about drivers/engineers groping the gridgirls…

      In the end I wouldn’t care if they were gone or not. They hardly draw any of my attention even when I’m at the races themselves. The way MotoGP makes a separate video about them though is a step to far, but also here again the girls seem to enjoy the attention they get through it.

      1. Best way to oppose equal rights is to forbid a gender doing something.

        But banning grid girls would by extension ban the role for either gender.

        but also here again the girls seem to enjoy the attention they get through it.

        Maybe they do, maybe they only enjoy the money, maybe like anybody their opinions on their work vary. But we’d have to hear it from them- you can’t judge by appearance when it’s their job to look like they’re enjoying themselves.

        Fundamentally though, the issue shouldn’t primarily be the grid girls’ job satisfaction anyway. As employees, they are hired if they are wanted or needed. If they aren’t wanted, then there are similar jobs they can take and F1 doesn’t have any obligation to continue their employment just because for 3 days a year they enjoy the money and/or experience. So the question is whether F1 wants them?

        1. @matt90 Exactly, F1 has no obligation to hire farmers, clowns, models and everyone else just because they want it.

          1. @girts
            It’s nice to see somebody who understands my point. A lot of people seem to think I’m either being sexist or too PC, which is interesting because I don’t actually have an opinion on this issue- I just take issue with people using entirely illogical arguments on the matter.

            While I think that the corridor of clapping women at the end of a race is plain creepy and should be disposed of, I don’t have a firm stance on whether grid girls should stay. I would like to see some good evidence, an FIA study for instance, which looks at the impact and influence that their presence has on women in the audience (looking at both casual viewers/attendees who are only going with a partner, and established fans) and women working in the sport full-time as drivers/engineers/any other position in an F1 team. If it showed that they had an adverse effect, putting off many prospective fans, workers, and competitors, then they should be banned. I suspect that would indeed be the result, but until somebody has the sense to look into it with a little more than anecdotal research I don’t think they should be banned.

          2. @matt90, @girts I understand your point completely. And it would make all the more sense if it were for example because there isn’t enough money for the grid girls, or there have been incidents where they did not perform by contract. Many reasons why they should be banned but the reason WEC used ‘because it shows a bad idea of the role of a woman in society’ is to some people a poor reason. To me it looks more like, as I said before, ‘Look what we do’, and ‘Look how modern we are’.

            It keeps reminding me of how we want to solve problems that aren’t really there or only marginally. Have we ever considered that these girls actually wanted to be models, wanted to be adored for their body in F1 or somewhere else. That is not sexist, it’s plain fact there are women who love that kind of attention. Perhaps the problem is more what we think of those jobs, as someone wrote above ‘a block of wood could do it’. Yeah, I’d love to see him wear those shoes, stand in the scorching heat, maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay fit, etc. At the same time there are other women who pursue other careers, my boss is female, two out of three of my colleagues are, my mother is a top dog in banking, etc. Meanwhile most of our jobs is typing on a computer and knowing some specific bit of information that allows us to do our jobs. So plain simple I use a different part of my body to get money.

            We want to send out a message that you can be whatever you want. You need to choose for yourself, you want to be a female engineer? Go for it! Female truck driver, go for it! But hey, you can’t be a model though. That doesn’t look good onto us (wo)men who employ them.

            Although I agree with your proposal for a research perhaps we’re already spending too much time on the matter. I also completely agree F1 could ban them if they like, it’s not like they have a divine right to be there or in fact we ‘need’ them. I wouldn’t be bothered whatever happens, I’ll be happy if we can continue about fast cars.

          3. They don’t?

            How the hell did Bernie get a job then?


      2. It’t like solving modern racism (which in most western places is a non issue), by banning white people.

        That is what this is like, resurrect and double down on sexism!

      3. “Gigantic number”? Do you know this for sure, or are you making things up.

        No-one is claiming that drivers or anyone else is groping the grid girls, so that’s completely irrelevant. It’s about the image that the sport sends out. It has amazing technologies and some of the finest drivers in the world. It races on stunning circuits and goes all around the planet. Yet it continues to promote an out-dated image of women, where pretty girls stand on the grid smiling slightly awkwardly at the cameras. Is this what we’re telling women that they can do in F1 if they really want to? We should be telling them that they can be race engineers, aerodynamists, drivers and so on.

        1. “Is this what we’re telling women that they can do in F1 if they really want to?”

          No, it’s what the modeling profession is telling professional models they can do in modeling if they really want to.

        2. @jules-winfield All the girls across motorsports categories, thatjust has to be a big number don’t you think?

          1. Very odd (yet revealing) that you think “a big number” is the benchmark for your cause.

            It’s not really about professional models for you, is it. It’s about some other idea that’s covert and unspoken, yet not really.

          2. It might be, but are we talking about banning grid girls from F1 or motorsport? If (and only if) they put female fans and budding engineers off, then it makes sense to ban them from F1 as it’s the biggest motorsport platform. At smaller events the influence is going to be much lower, and those categories wouldn’t necessarily have to follow suit. So for the question about F1 particularly, it is a fairly insignificant number.

            1. @matt90 Agreed but wouldn’t it be odd if two our of four world championships did ban them and then not a single other part of Motorsport?

              @geeyore If you’re going to be condescending from the start you might as well not post.

        3. Michael27Steel
          26th April 2015, 15:52

          Jules Winfield @
          Well say that to all (for example) car exhibitions in the future.
          Never hear any word about sexism coming from there.
          From all history of the world of cars, fast cars were always compares with
          a good looking women inside and next to the car. You can call it sexism
          or not. It’s the way you think about women’s in general and were the want
          to stand for in there lives. Like we in here have our differences, also women’s
          around the world have the same discussion about this. Point is, every women
          is her own person and have her own idea’s about the way she wants to act.
          Please don’t make the mistake to live there lives and tell them how to act.
          Is there own choice (thank god for that) and not ours.

    5. In the grand scheme of things, this remains a bit of a non-issue. I’m not sure about some people, but I don’t really pay much notice of the grid girls when I watch racing, their only major purpose being to hold a board that gives viewers an easy reference point for where cars are lined up when you don’t have the full grid memorised.
      Women who compete and want to compete aren’t particularly bothered by grid girls either as all they ultimately are is set dressing. They wouldn’t be missed much if they were gone, but it would look odd seeing the winning drivers walk through an empty corridor to the podium ready room.

    6. One word: No!!!

      1. @raddie Why not, why not liberate people from this oppression by telling them what they can and can not do, like and think?

    7. Just because it’s worded as a “ban” doesn’t actually make it a plot to stop women doing what they want to in life. There’s no line of cheering, attractive women there to greet me when I walk into work in the morning, that doesn’t mean women have been “banned” from doing it, any more then men are currently “banned” from being grid boys. There’s just a sexist hiring policy now in place, which objectifies women (yes, even if the women on the grid are there of their own free will, it still objectifies women at large), and that’s what people object to.

      1. Wild applause @gwan.

        I wonder how a female F1 winner would feel when greeted by the wall of totty? The idea of an all-male wall of obsequious, adoring men in skimpy clothing cheering on a female (or male) race winner is almost unthinkable – although I’m having visions of Eurovision high camp. I think this says a lot.

    8. I personally think the grid girl no longer makes a ton of sense. Drivers are pointed to their grid slots in multiple ways (not to mention, they’re often pushed on the grid to their places) and photographers often select very few pictures of grid girls to their magazines, websites and other publications. You hardly notice them during pre-race segments (apart from cameramen from Sky/BBC nearly running into them) so from a publicity point of view, there’s probably more sense in having promotional gigs all over the track than your company’s name on a grid girl.

      If F1 really wants someone to stand in front of a grid slot and hold a sign with a driver name and number, perhaps they should involve the public. Football often has kids joining players on to the field, there would surely be wealthy fans who would want to hold it to have their picture taken and I’m sure teams, drivers and race organizers have tons of ideas to fill up that position.

      As they’re models, they are of course mentally capable of making the decision to take the job or not, so I don’t think it should be altered/banned for their sake (as they would probably still be hired for promotional activity elsewhere during the weekend). However, between the WEC taking a stand and Bernie’s letter about more ‘glamorous ladies on the paddock’ F1 should take note that women aren’t around for the enjoyment of men and act a little more like it. Not exclusively using grid girls in its current concept would be a great start (getting rid of the concept of the wall of women who clap for the top 3 at the end of the race would be a great second step).

      1. …there would surely be wealthy fans who would want to hold it to have their picture taken…

        I agree with your post although this particular sentence is a bit out of place. So instead of gender discimination we’ll discriminate on the basis of wealth?

        1. Lol. The entirety of F1 is “discrimination on the basis of wealth.” Just ask Marussia, or Bernie for that matter. Or anyone with a general admission pass to the circuit. The list of “economic discrimination” in F1 is endless.

        2. As long as tracks have to pay tens of millions annually to even host F1, access to the grid, paddock and in some cases even the stands is more for wealthy fans. I meant to imply an auction system, rather than ‘some rich guy gives Bernie 20 million to handle the grid duties for Hamilton for the next 10 years’.

      2. Instead of outright asking for money, I would be fine with either FOM, the promotors or the teams handing out (part of) these spots based on a fan competition, just a draw from ticket numbers, some kind of race promotion, etc.

    9. I say, use both men and women, maybe even children, and just make sure they aren’t ridiculously skimpily dressed, as I think it just makes everything look tacky. Give them either something really nice or just traditional, like Austria did (and I’m sure others have done also, but usually I don’t even notice), and we’re golden.
      Rather than taking them away and giving both genders equal non-rights, you should give them equal rights to do something instead. Just don’t make them sex objects. There will be some out there that want that, but I think a majority does not.

      1. Yeah, let’s put an entire Von Trapp family in front of each car.

        1. But don’t forget the transgenders, they have rights too.

    10. the rows of girls clapping the top three to the dressing room is superfluous and actually a bit of an embarrassment. the grid girls should stay. they are attractive and an additional source of glamour as opposed to most of the ugly blokes trying to look important. the grid girls do this job because they want to and they also get paid, so why not. let them choose themselves and not be dictated to by the PC police.

      1. “PC police”? Oh please, you can do better than that.

        1. i would reiterate, let the ‘girls’ make the choice. if they didn’t want to do it then there wouldn’t be any grid girls as there is no one forcing them to sign up. just get off the bandwagon.

          @ matt…if you can’t distinguish the difference then you really do have a problem.

          1. Why? They are employees just like anybody- they do not have a choice if their employers decide they no longer want them. Please explain to me what makes them different to other workers in other fields?

      2. let them choose themselves

        But why? If my company is considering making me redundant, it isn’t my choice whether I stay. Maybe Vergne should have chosen to stay at Toro Rosso too.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          26th April 2015, 14:58

          Actually @matt90, they do have a choice.
          I know as I used to run a model agency and we’ve arranged models for promotional activities (i.e. grid girls) for the local race (IndyCar in this case). Like all other ‘jobs’, we tell them what the job is and how much it pays. They are free to decide if they want to do that job or not.

          PS – we also had male models on our books, but they were never requested for race related modelling activities.

          1. Oh, I know they could choose to turn down work- I mean that they don’t have nor do they warrant a choice if the event simply doesn’t want them involved any more.

            1. @matt90, I don’t know where you get the patience.

      3. The grid girls are not being told to go. The ‘PC police’ are telling Formula 1 that it’s a bit old-fashioned and bad taste to actively go out and hire pretty women to stand around doing very little whilst behaving like dolls. There is no getting away from it, that is what FOM are doing. And it’s time to stop.

        There are amazing women in Formula 1; drivers, PR reps, caterers, engineers, team principals, sponsors etc. <<You know, all the jobs real people do. It's really ugly of the sport to marshal around pretty faces being paid to behave like objects. It's not OK for a society to indulge in such marginalisation simply because we can pay for it

      4. Surely the young ladies on the grid and those applauding the winning drivers are 1 and the same.

    11. ColdFly F1 (@)
      26th April 2015, 12:25

      I wish there was an option banning only the rows of applauding girls at the end; that to me is more cringeworthy.

      1. This. The applauding girls is really awkward and sometimes they make the already small hall way looks super cramped. They can keep some on the podium because its feels more natural there and make the podium looks more full.

    12. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      26th April 2015, 12:29

      Yes, we should first clarify whether the vote against grid girls includes that awkward row of applauding identicals.

      Either replace them by storm troopers, or get rid of them, is what I’d say.

      1. I’d quite like stormtroopers on the podium, or Boba Fett.

    13. I can’t understand how some people don’t see this as sexist! Men racing in the cars while women holding the flags and clapping for them in the end. How is this not sexist? Also, is there any sport where it is the opposite? i.e women sporting and men (chosen mostly on their looks) standing besides them displaying their numbers and clapping for them in the end and giving them their caps and microphones? This is an extremely sexist arrangement IMHO. And I don’t see what purpose it has? Does it really add this so called “glamor”? Not in my world (maybe some senile billionaires think otherwise).

      And I don’t buy the argument that “no one is forcing them to do so; they are entirely voluntary to do so”; of course they are not directly forced but it is the same as saying women get paid less “because they agree to the given pay”. Of course they agree but in the economic environment around us, no one can be an activist and go home hungry, there will always be people (and rightly so) who would agree to less than equal treatment because they have to, not because someone forces them to but because their own circumstances force them to.

      Inequality and sexism has to be stamped out with conscious effort, otherwise it creeps in under many different garbs.

      1. Exactly! And I would add that we should reduce economic inequality by lowering the price of F1 tickets so that *everyone* can get into FOM’s paddock club, in fact make F1 free so that every interested person can attend an F1 race regardless of economic status!

        And petrol? Why should F1 be permitted to use 2,000 kilos of petrol for such a useless social purpose?! Make them do F1 on horseback! But that would be abusive to horses, so make it a footrace between drivers…. errr… runners!

        Now that does leave the matter of the track and spectators, each of which has it’s own series of social non-conformities and impacts.

        In the end it might be best to simply ban F1 altogether, so that no one is “offended” and that all parties – drivers, mechanics, owners, spectators, sponsors, and yes, professional models – are all treated equally and with all deserved consideration.

        1. Yes we can do all what you said….. OR…. we can take the easy way out and let the sexism continue. Right? Why bother and do something right…… I wonder what you would have said had you been around in the times of slavery (or any other inequality which we have got rid of)…….

          1. @sohebbasharat
            You presume way too much. And you’re making yourself hysterical about the whole subject. Some girl holding a sign is NOT the same as slavery and it’s not necessarily the same as sexism.
            I dated a woman who had her MBA and was an executive in a good company but she was also a fitness model. She simply enjoyed showing off and would often do things like being a grid girl. I found it annoying and time consuming because it would take away weekends when she wanted to travel to shows and events. But she made good money modeling off of this stuff and landed some Women’s Fitness magazine covers from it.
            Who are you to tell her that she was “a victim” or that this was somehow compared to slavery? She is half black so I’m sure she would found that last comparison really interesting.

            You know, when this question first came up, I was thinking they should do away with grid girls. But the more I listen to the hystrionics of everyone pushing their moral view on this, the more it turns me off.

            If the women want to do it, I’m not going to tell them they can’t. And now I see why people get so sick of the PC police. Geez, there are real tragedies in the world…this is an annoyance, and only to some people. We all need to get a grip. I see why @geeyore responded with such sarcasm now.

            1. I will leave aside the ad hominem attack and stick to the point.
              Who said it is the SAME as slavery? It is nothing more than a straw man of your imagination.

              So, lets say a woman takes a job where she is paid less than men. And someone writes against inequality in pays. Would you say that he is telling that particular woman what to do and not to do? Or would you say he is arguing against the sexism inherent in our culture which translates into women being paid less?

              You are being too myopic IMO and focusing too much on your personal experience and hence being needlessly defensive. No one is saying that those grid girls are at fault or that they should be told what to do and what not to do. Its about the sexism that is inherent in F1 (probably because it has been historically seen as a Man’s sport and it is still men who are running it). The point is very simple, either there should be both guys and girls on the grid OR we should get rid of this concept of grid girls altogether. And this is a matter of principle and policy, not personal attack on anyone. If you think that this is hysteria, well I can’t really argue with you on that. AND, if you cannot see the Sexism evident here, again, I can really not make you see something which you don’t want to.

              And about the thing that there are so many other things wrong in this world. I wonder where I have heard this argument before. Hmmm. Oh yes, almost always when someone is trying to deflect attention from some issue, I hear the same “Oh leave that, there are far more problematic things in the world”. That is a non-argument, my friend. Here we are discussing one particular thing, and although women rights in Saudi Arabia are for example a far more serious issue to discuss, it doesn’t mean we cannot discuss any thing else unless that issue is resolved. We can talk against bigger and smaller injustices and inequalities all at the same time.

              Have a good day!

            2. Man you are being too myopic. I just read your post down below. No one is telling your family what or what not to do. Why are you telling their stories? And you are also saying that this grid girl thing is silly. That is basically all that we are saying! Either there should be both genders or we can get rid of this. NO ONE, I REPEAT, NO ONE IS TELLING ANY INDIVIDUAL TO NOT DO SOMETHING! I don’t know how are you are getting that message.

            3. @sohebbasharat
              Yes, but you burn everyone out. You make an issue of everything and then people won’t listen to you when there is something serious.
              As you say, it’s just my opinion. I happen to be pretty liberal (at least by American standards) and the biggest problem we have changing things over here is that the liberals make so much noise about EVERYTHING, that it turns off the people in the middle who might support us otherwise.
              To me, this is simply a matter of picking your battles.

              And yes, you are (indirectly) telling these women what to do. You’re trying to eliminate their jobs based on your perception of what’s right or wrong. This is not the same as a company laying off someone because they can’t afford to pay them. This is a social decision that affects the women who do it for money, exposure as models or whatever.
              I do realize that this has to be balanced against any social ills that may come out of “turning off” women or young girls who might otherwise watch or participate in the sport. If someone show numbers that support that as a negative effect, then I’d be likely to support a ban on grid girls.

            4. @sohebbasharat
              By the way, I do apologize for the tone as it came off way too aggressive. But I clicked the article with the intention of voting to ban grid girls but started reading some of the comments first. And the people arguing FOR the ban actually turned me off so much that I changed my mind and voted to just leave it alone. Sometimes, we “progressives” really can be our own worst enemies.

              One other thing, if I’d have said “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny…therefore nothing you say has merit”, then that would have been an ad hominem attack.

              I said that you were over reacting and making this into a huge issue. That was simply my opinion of your arguments, not an ad hominem attack. When I saw you mention slavery during the debate, it kind of set me off to see that come into the conversation. But as you said, you didn’t equate the two and were simply asking a rhetorical question of someone else.

              Regardless, I said things too strongly by throwing in terms like histrionics and, again, sorry for that part :)

            5. @DaveD
              Nah, no need to apologize. You weren’t particularly harsh. Maybe I just over reacted to “hysterical” as ad hominem :-)

              You are a good man to apologize over a trivial thing! Apologies from me too if I hurt your feelings (or your girl friend’s who you said has been a grid girl); never meant to attack someone personally.

              Peace and have a good time!

      2. Sohaib, excellent post. A lot of commenters seem to miss the point. It is not the role of ‘grid girl’ per se which is offensive but rather the fact that it is exclusively women, and young pretty ones at that. How then, can it not be seen that the role itself is purely eye candy for the men? It’s certainly not for me or the other women in the audience. Surely we as a society have moved past relegating women to that role? If F1 really wants equality then it needs to not only improve the number of women in all areas including racing, team structures and on the podium as a PRESENTER of trophies (not just looking like one) and then have half the ‘grid girls’ as blokes, then I’ll believe the job itself is not inherently sexist.

        1. Spot on! “as a Presenter of trophies (not just looking like one)” This!

          Although I love F1, I don’t like these sexist arrangements (probably a relic of the past when MEN used to race and WOMEN cheered on). Take the grid girls, or the girls standing in two rows at the end and clapping for men as they go up to the podium. And then the girls who present a cap and microphone to the guys on the podium (why can’t it be guys?). And then two rows of girls standing on each side of the podium while men conduct interviews and present trophies to other men. Not sexist enough?

          I like as some have suggested the inclusion of kids (like in football). Also, encourages kids when they are involved as such in the sport.

        2. @pink-peril
          “Surely we as a society have moved past relegating women to that role?”
          So many of you are working your way into your own self induced hysterics. I must have missed the part where they told Simona that she couldn’t drive but had to hold a sign and wear a bikini next to Seb’s car??? Could you send me the article?

          I don’t like the grid girls and think it’s silly. But if they want to do it, why do you get to tell them they can’t?
          If you want to get mad about something, then why don’t you find out why they aren’t doing more to help girls get started in karting and working up through the ranks?

          The next time my ex wife calls me complaining because our 17 year old wants to put blue streaks in her hair, I’ll just tell her it could be MUCH WORSE….she could want to be a…gasp…grid girl!!! LOL

          1. Interesting that you immediately dismiss my viewpoint as ‘hysterical’. Because I’m a woman, I must automatically be emotive when posting, right? And where exactly did I tell women they can’t be grid girls? You know, if you actually read my post properly and took on board my comments you might just learn something. And as for your strawman about Simona de Silvestro, remind me again which team she is driving for this year?

            1. @pink-peril
              No, the “interesting” part is that you have a chip on your shoulder (I admit, understandably considering things in our society that truly are sexist) and assumed I used the term hysterical because you were a woman. But if you look up a couple of posts, I had used the same term to Sohaib before I ever saw your post.
              I used the term hysterical to both of you because you’re getting worked up over something that doesn’t rate this much emotion unless you’re making yourself crazy of things you blow out of proportion.

              Women getting paid less than men…now that’s something to get worked up about. Women in countries like Saudi Arabia who we all support as “allies” because we want their oil, yet their women are treated like property and not even allowed to drive! Now those are something to get worked up about…and many more real problems.

              Some silly grid girls? Meh. If my daughters wanted to be grid girls, I wouldn’t be thrilled. But they’re both electrical engineers and if they do, it wouldn’t define who they are if they did so. My youngest is off the charts brilliant. She is already a sophomore in EE with a 4.0 average and tested out of most of her freshman classes. Yet she posts pictures of herself on Instagram wearing tiara’s (I’m not making this up) and yet she’s never been to or even seen a beauty contest. Her big sister is a senior and already doing her interships at Oak Ridge National Labs for EE and her idea of fun is to workout and she squats 250lbs like it was nothing.
              So, am I supposed to tell the youngest that she’s wrong if she wants to wear a tiara and do modeling? Or should I tell the oldest that it’s not lady like to be able to beat up half the boys around her? Or maybe I should just let them be what THEY want to be?
              You’re judging this whole situation from your perspective. I happen to agree with you and think the grid girls are silly and I certainly don’t want to be one even if I was a woman. But I’m not going to tell someone else they can’t do it.

              And as for my “strawman” about Simona, She’s not in F1 because of the whole pay driver issue. She was lined up to be driving for Sauber before they had the money issues and did all the strange things that led them to get into court this year. And I mean she was going to DRIVE, not be a practice driver. But ask Guido how that works out if you don’t bring absolutely top dollar to the table from sponsors.
              Ironic how you assumed something about me based on the word hysterical and then proceeded to talk down to me and tell me I’ll “learn something” from reading your post “properly” LOL Now that was presumptuous and offensive.

              Really…I’m going to “learn something” from reading a single paragraph where you express your opinion on a blog? :)

      3. This. +1

        1. DaveD – I am not getting worked up over anything. There was a topic up for discussion and I put my views up. That is all, no sleep lost over the issue here. You were the one who brought hysterics into it and tried to claim I am telling people what to do with their lives. So clearly, you did not read my post properly and posted off on a tangent about what you think I said or meant.

          1. @pink-peril
            My apologies then. I guess I read through much of the page above and by the time I got down here towards the bottom of the page, I was conflating many people’s opinions and emotions together.
            The reason I mentioned that I have two daughters is to illustrate that I would not want anything going on that demeans them. I personally don’t like grid girls and pay them no attention because it’s rather silly to me.
            But I do know women who actually enjoy doing it and if we ban them, then we ban an activity they actually enjoy doing. Not the end of the world either way, I just find other injustices towards women that I spend my “political capital” on because there are plenty to chose from…sadly. But it doesn’t mean my opinion should stop you from voicing your opinion if the grid girls really bother you. Sorry.

    14. Has anyone even asked the grid girls themselves about this matter?

      1. Why? They aren’t the issue. It’s their influence which is the issue. You do need to ask women, but those in the stands and on the sofa rather than on the grid.

        1. that is a load of tosh. those girls do what they do because they enjoy both the spectacle,some money and a whole lot of fun. leave people to do what they want not what you want.

          1. those girls do what they do because they enjoy both the spectacle,some money and a whole lot of fun.

            As I said, they aren’t the issue though. I enjoy my job and the money, but if my position became redundant I would expect to be made redundant.

            1. Well I think its different from your position since being grid girls will never be your main source of income. Some of the grid girls surely will be in sofa on other races that not in their country. So asking them is quite relevant.

            2. Being grid girls is surely nobody’s main source of income- they are models, and they must work a variety of events, of which F1 in particular contributes just 3 days of their employment through the year, and even motorsport races on a wider scale wouldn’t be their main recurring gig (I assume, would like to hear if anybody knows)? Their profession is presumably modelling rather than ‘grid girl’, and nobody is suggesting banning that.

            3. Well I misunderstand your 1st reply then. If what you meant is remove the role then I’m OK with that although I think the grid numbers has it uses for people who in the circuit and not having the benefit on GUI overlay in TV. So by removing them, we need a good alternative for showing the information for who watching it in the circuit but that’s another discussion ;)

            4. Oops I replied to wrong thread. Can a mod delete this and above post?

    15. If an F1 race was ever to be hold in my home country, I would like nothing more than to see our women dressed in our nation’s traditional costumes in the grid. What’s wrong with it? I bet nobody here, man or woman, wouldn’t like to see a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress!

      1. What about heterosexual women? Wouldn’t they rather see a handsome man in a sharp suit? Perhaps George Clooney or maybe that guy who plays Poldark on the BBC?

        1. DTM gives the female drivers a grid guy, no?

        2. Who gives a stuff what women think @jules-winfield? :o)

      2. Even if that traditional costume is littered with sponsors? By not having any mens traditional costumes, 50% of costume history is also ignored. Or are we saying we wouldn’t enjoy an old man in a crazy wig holding a car number on a stick?

        1. A good career move for Bernie, not fired, just re-positioned.

            1. @hohum Yes, truly brilliant! LOL

    16. A specious non-issue. What “offends” some does not “offend” others (QED, since professional models are in fact on on the grid holding grid markers).

      I’m not even going to bother with any suspect “reasons” for or against.

      Hey Collantine, why don’t you lobby against the “profligate” use of petrol, or the “discriminatory” pricing of grandstand vs paddock tickets, or using Susie Wolff as a test driver and not a qualifying driver, or any of the dozens of other issues that pique some sensibilities? Why write for an F1 blog at all, when you could be lending your talent to so many other important social causes?

      And by the way, I suggest you call them “professional models” rather than the sexist and derogatory “grid girls.”

      1. Hey @geeyore, if you can find the time to peer over the edge of your moral parapet you may find that what you have said completely misses the point.

        Point taken, in most cases F1 is not dragging non-professional beauties to the gird, the problem is they are being sent their in the first place. The point in banning grid girls is not to change the world, to resign female objectification to the history books, but as an aspirational example of the current standard of egalitarianism. It would be even be a reflection of a sport with a young and increasingly liberal and educated fan-base (a fan base @pmccarthy_is_a_legend refers to as boring), a reflection of a modern sport.

        So yes, the girls haven’t been dragged their against their will, and yes, not having a job standing on a grid won’t change the way girls will continually be required to pose because of their looks. But it is a crucial token act in a cultural sense. So Bernie, will you align yourself with European cultural ideals by taking this liberal leap of faith? Oh, right, you prefer Arabic royal families…

        1. It’s not at all a moral issue, and in fact I couldn’t care one way or the other.

          But the injection of extremely dubious and petty “aspirational examples” for an alleged and questionable “young and increasingly liberal and educated fan-base” (as if F1 fans were previously dumb old reactionaries) to provide “crucial token act[s] in a cultural sense” is really more offensive than the purported sexism it’s asserted to remedy (and I contend that covert liberal sexism is at the core of this “token act” of banning professional models from the F1 grid and paddock).

          There’s nothing aspirational or crucial about it. It’s the kind of petty nonsense that consumes the moral crusader.

          F1 should go back to the days of nationalist teams. Now those were crucial and aspirational!

          1. So @geeyore, you dub me a “moral crusader” for arguing that F1 should take its opportunity to draw a line in the sand? You claim that making a landmark stand against female objectification is not a moral issue? You accuse those trying to end this needless heterosexual doctrine as implementing “covert liberal sexism”? I am repulsed.

            F1 is cutting edge inherently. Is it not a shame then that it was the FIA WEC that instigated a new stand on female objectification? My argument is not a political one, but a logical one: how can the most modern and cutting edge sport in the world still endorse this outdated and archaic practice?

            No less than Ipsos MORI, the UK’s largest market research organization, found that F1 was especially popular, in Europe at least, with University students. If therein F1 has an increasingly young audience (the study showed that the average age of the viewer had decreased), should F1 not be representative of modern views? Apparently not, if a borderline xenophobic pensioner terrified of the modern world continues to be at sport’s helm.

            Never did I think I would have to be rebuffing such abhorrent quasi-rightist discourse on a blog such as this.

        2. Its a non issue.Not everyone cares about the same things as you.

    17. I really think that WEC banned the use of grid girl from a budget point of view noting more than that, so f1 should do the same to reduce the budget needed.

      1. “I have managed to filter it and, besides, I have a much more negative opinion of ill-focused, redundant political correctness.”

        Bravo. Same here. Politically correct noodling (which the blog author Collantine readily admits this is) is a slippery slope with literally no end of concession to the self-nominated advocate’s (allegedly) offended sensibilities.

        1. The slippery slope itself being a huge logical fallacy, of course.

    18. The fact that there is a blanketed consideration of how an entire gender should present itself is more sexist than an innocuous, non-representative constituent of that respective gender (of which there are plenty others, including for the male gender). If gender characteristics/roles/limitations are inferred and generalised from that constituent (or any other), the problem lies with the people who interpret it that way.
      Banning grid girls would simply validate that tought process.

      As a side note, I dislike grid girls and generally exhibiting women because they facilitate the manifestation of gawking culture. On the other hand, my dislike for it is purely personal and I have managed to filter it and, besides, I have a much more negative opinion of ill-focused, redundant political correctness.

      1. @glue That may be true for you as a fully-developed, mature adult. But what kind of messages do you think it sends to young girls out there who see a Formula 1 event on television and see nothing but men driving the cars and women only present in deliberately eye-catching clothing on the grid holding signs or on the walk to the podium?

        1. Are those the only professions seeping through the consumption of an f1 event and processed by the viewer? How about team principals? Or track marshals? In fact, I would say that other questionable role models among the celebrities attending f1 races receive more airtime than grid girls, and their lifestyle is much more glorified and designed to entice in a significantly more poignant way. In the end, it’s not f1’s problem what and how youngsters become influenced in various patterns, because it is not chiefly responsible (or representative) for what social actors decry as being primarily coercing.
          This would be an appeal for something much larger than f1 to act upon, and f1 has much, much bigger problems at the moment.

          1. Well said.

            Banning grid girls because it may affect the perceptions of the young just has to be the most ridiculous thing I have heard.

            The ‘young’ ain’t watching and that right there is one of the major crises along with the fact that F1 has females all over its various opportunities all the way up to managing teams. If someone at homes (the one person watching via a paywall) is in some way turned off of a career as a female engineer, TV pundit, race team manager because they caught sight of actually quite well dressed models, they are heading for bigger issues in life.

            The fact is those very grid girls probably act as a recruiting agency for other positions in F1 and should be left alone to earn their living.

            “Remove the role and then no one will apply!” Jeez – I don’t think I have ever heard such a misogynistic set of comments as seen on these posts. All old school HR Managers I assume?

    19. Blah, blah blah.

    20. F1 fans, the most boring fans in the world.

      1. I’m sure we’d love to hear your story on why you made an account on an F1 website…

    21. @keithcollantine Keith, I, someone who has been subjected to being photographed amid a huddle of posing grid girls whilst my friends jeered, wholeheartedly support your position. Last year’s US Grand Prix gridwalk virtually reduced me to tears as a blatantly uninterested Pamela Anderson claimed “I just love this: fast cars and fast women” as she stood next to perhaps the most illiberally dressed grid girls of season. This pathetic neo-American tosh is both archaic and unnecessary, since F1 is quite capable of being appealing without support from a toned and tanned twenty-year old pouting at an FOM cameraman (when he isn’t documenting the shortness of Carman Jorda’s shorts that is).

      However is a gird girl ban realistic under the current quasi-traditionalist governance? Probably not. Female sexuality rather unfortunately got caught up in F1’s thriller-esque theme some decades ago; an ancillary of the “Hunt-effect” if you like. The commercial symbiosis of the hero/driver and his blonde post-race reward was allowed to passively develop, and now, whilst the era of driver studs is gone (hopefully), this dated and needless heterosexual doctrine lingers like a bad smell.

      At least it reminds fans of the need for a socialist coup d’etat…if failing teams, pay drivers, the loss of iconic races and the vehement implementation of gimmicks proves insufficient. I bet Bernie wears a UKIP badge in Barcelona…

    22. When my daughters watch the race with me I want them to see the women on the teams, working toward the goal of winning races. Pity F1 takes away from them by using others as decorations.

      1. @slotopen And what if they wanted to be a model?

        You better raise them telling them being a grid girl is no less than a CEO. Then we will have a equal society. As long as we look upon them as less because ‘they only have their beauty’ we can ban them whenever we like but the idea is still there.

    23. As an F1 fan who just happens to be a woman, yes, we should get rid of grid girls.

      To all those saying “it’s their choice!”… when you see a situation where one gender exclusively has one role, and one exclusively the other, ask yourself who has the power in this situation? Why might we have all male drivers and all female grid girls? Men rule F1, so anyone with half a brain can see which gender has the power.

      Yes, women can choose to be grid girls and decoration, but can they choose to be engineers, drivers and actually participate in the sport as easily? That’s where the sexism of the matter lies.

      1. Yes, women can choose to be grid girls and decoration, but can they choose to be engineers, drivers and actually participate in the sport as easily?

        I have to answer yes, and maybe somewhat more easily.

        Monisha Kaltelborn and Claire Williams prove women in team position. We never know the whole engineering crew for a team but I’m sure there are women there. They just not exposed just like that guy who holding the brake fan. Besides do you believe Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, etc. don’t have any women as employee? Also, we do not know the engineering crew that not go to races but stay in the team headquarters.

        I also willing to bet women driver actually have it more easily than men. If Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda are male, do you believe they will have their position at the moment? A women that can compete and win in FR3.5 or GP2 surely will attract teams just like men winners do.

        And for participate in the sports other than engineers and drivers, I have seen PR staff that is a woman and I believe many other position has women somewhere in there. This is a sport that demand what can you do best more than your looks or gender.

      2. I think people who look at the television for moral authority are a bigger problem than grid girls. They do choose to be there, they do get paid to be there, if the clothing is bad taste, then enforce a dress code. But make sure everyone in the stands and who is in the area is also adhering to that code. We don’t need to discriminate.

      3. @yellowsapphire I personally agree with you, except I would rather see grid models kept but include male models as well as just female models.

        The biggest issue affecting female involvement in motorsport is the wider western and even global attitudes towards gender. When boys are brought up to believe that certain things are ‘masculine’ and that they should be interested in them and girls are brought up with messages telling them to be ‘feminine’ and not do that which is traditionally male, there’s little wonder how we end up with so few women getting involved in motorsport in any capacity compared to other industries.

        We need to do more as a society to break down outdated traditional gender roles before we will begin to see true equality in the very male-dominated world of motorsport.

      4. You are right! Lift the ban on male grid-people! Blatant sexism! At least there isn’t a ban on female drivers!

      5. Have you ever thought (as no one on here seems to) that there is a good likely hood of those girls everyone wants to ban going on and getting other work/jobs/careers within F1?

        And that by ‘removing’ them those opportunities will likely be removed?

    24. Leave grid girls alone. And if women appear in F1 as drivers, introduce grid guys to stand in front of their cars. Problem solved.

    25. No big feeling about this either way. I enjoy grid girls but don’t find them necessary. Can’t see it’s discriminatory either and no one is forcing anybody. What’s the big deal.

      If the topic is really about women in motor sports, do something about women in motor sports I say. A separate series would be a good start.

    26. what on earth has this to do with F1?

      lets keep looney left wing politics to the election debate, no one forces women to be grid girls, there are no female F1 drivers because none have yet made the grade (there are plenty of teams who will jump to have a lady driver when one is ready), and its not as if they are paraded around half naked


      1. Yeah, what do the women holding the F1 drivers car numbers, at F1-graded tracks hosting an F1 race, just before the F1 race, have to do with F1?

    27. how about we ban Bernie instead, and then we let the fans ban one team every round, just for kicks.

    28. Many years ago there used to be a program on Tv called the Black and White minstrel show. It was my parents favourite show. They are west indian and black. But it was pulled from the air because it was supposedly ‘racist’. Nobody asked my parents what they thought, they just ruled that it was for their own good and it had to stop. Robinson’s marmalade had a Gollly on the jar. I never knew it was meant to be a black man and therefore racist. I liked the character. I even had a stuffed golly and a golden badge with a golly on it. Then somebody decided that black people should take offence and the gollly was removed. Now those same people look at the grid and decide for women that it is somehow sexist and so it must go. How about letting people decide for themselves? If women don’t want to be grid girls then let it die. If women want to do it, let them. All this mandating from above is getting tiresome. Will those that want rid of it pay those affected for the loss of work and a free day at the races? No of course not but feel free to ruin someone else’s life because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. How about letting people live their own lives and you all living your own. Things change. If something stops being popular it fades then dies naturally. Let that be the factor for change.

      1. I’d happily stand on an F1 grid holding a race number, and be there at the end to congratulate the race winner and hand him a towel. I’d also do it for free (in fact I’d gladly pay for the privilege) . But I’m a man and I don’t think I have the looks required for such a role. All of this talk about it not being sexist because nobody forces women to do it is a complete red herring. The role is completely discriminatory and it also sends out a really out-dated message about roles – they are the problems.

        On the racism examples you also have to remember that just because you make racism institutionalized and have it permeate society doesn’t make it not racist. When Nelson Mandela was ‘underground’ and left South Africa he found himself on a plane piloted by a black pilot and was initially worried that it was not safe allow a black man to pilot a plane. The moral of this story isn’t that we should only allow white pilots because even black people are concerned about allowing black pilots, but that racism can permeate society to such an extent that even persecuted groups can exhibit the same racist tendencies which are embedded in that society completely unintentionally.

        1. “The role is completely discriminatory.”

          Seems to me you’re conflating the role of a professional model who has chosen and is paid to be an attractive model (and many work quite hard to achieve that role), versus someone who is prevented from a professional role due to an attribute (you use the black pilot example, but it could just as easily be an attractive model at a Formula 1 event).

          I’m not quite sure I follow the logic. Are you saying that professional models at F1 events are being “persecuted”?

      2. Well said JerseyF1. Tiomkin, if you have a daughter, do you want to instil in her the idea that she too could be an F1 driver, an engineer, or even one of the politicians up on the podium presenting trophies? Or do you want her to grow up subconsciously conforming to the idea that all she can aspire to is frocking up in some lycra and blowing air kisses to the camera? And you want your sons to form a similar view? F1 needs to lead by example on this issue.

        1. I would be happy with whatever she put her mind to as long as she is happy, well paid and challenged in said role.

          And it was not under threat from ‘seen to do good’ types that seek to impose prejudice whoever possible…

    29. Travis Humphery (@)
      26th April 2015, 15:02

      Keith, any chance of breaking the final results down to country?

      I’m sure that different parts of the world see this differently. Take advertising in different countries as an example. Ads that may seem day to day in certain parts of Europe are deemed sexist on others.

      1. I think one of the last things this website needs is a rejuvenation of the ‘this is a British website’ debate..

        1. Well it sure isn’t NASCAR!

        2. Travis Humphery (@)
          26th April 2015, 21:59

          It is a British website (ie .co.uk).

          I’m Australian, and I know there are a lot of members from all over the world here.

    30. Yes, F1 should do the same thing. Personally, I do not think this is the most important issue right now but if F1 really wants to join the FIA and “create a sports culture which facilitates and values the full participation of women in all aspects of motorsport” (that is one of the missions of the Women & Motorsport Commission), then I do not think it is possible without banning the grid girls. However, they could be replaced by “grid people”, who are not selected because of their gender and looks. Moreover, we should also not pretend that this will erase sexism in motorsports, it is just one of the many small steps that have to be made.

    31. I believe it should be abolished, Put up some large Display device of the sponsor to provide some info about the driver & Team on the screen. My opinion is to do away even with girls on the podium. Poor Lewis was in the news after the podium in China where he splashed champagne of the podium girls. I say just get rid of this practice all together.

      In NASCAR at the end of the race there are these ladies sponsored by Sprint who greet the winner and stand near him/her all way through. They are largely ignored, they put a false smile on their face, smile for everything and honestly it a a little bit of an embarrassment.

    32. I won’t repeat my previous views, I’ll just say one thing… Why don’t we ask the women doing the job instead of deciding for them and being more sexiest in the process. Women are perfectly capable of making their own choices in this regard.

      1. mmm… yes, but it’s a societal issue. It’s like banning graffiti; the people who do it might be fine artists with valid points to make, but the fact is that we ban that particular activity so that the place doesn’t look like crap and then the artists have to express themselves in other ways. So it is with grid-girls; they may be perfectly decent people but the issue is about whether we want series to allow gridgirling from a social point of view, not about the character/opinions of the people who actually do it.

      2. Well said. I just have to comment on the other reply you have.

        Societal issue – grid girls?

        Wow – you need to get out more if banning a perfectly reasonable job that quite possible leads to other opportunities within and outside of F1

      3. Is your thing…

    33. The WEC is the WEC.

      I watched the WEC opening at Silverstone. Fun racing for sure, but the show was “boring.” Grid girls, who are models earning a living, add to the glamor. So does Arnold interviewing the drivers on the podium.

      The only place there’s a real lack of women in the sport, that is a real eye sore and true of WEC and most motorsport series in general — drivers.

      The issue is no female drivers. This grid girl thing is a bunch of nonsense of folks waving their hands around like they are doing something meaningful — “see we are so moral and righteous and doing right bey women.”

      And there are still no women drivers in F1. When we had HRT etc at the back of the grid, what better place to slot in one or two women drivers? Nope. Couldn’t be bothered.

      1. The idea is that the women come through on merit and not because they’re women. Something which relates to removing sexist attitudes in driver development and in addressing the disproportionate trend for girls to quit karting once they hit puberty. Hopefully, by making the female faces which appear in motorsport the faces of people actually involved (Leena Gade, Monisha Kaltenborn, Claire Williams, women on wikipedia’s ‘List of female 24 Hours of Le Mans drivers’), rather than the faces of pretty things which complement the blokes who do the work, will help reverse this trend.

    34. I think that all the poor grid girls that have lost their job with WEC should be immediately transferred onto the F1 Grid, starting Barcelona

    35. ok Keth just tell me how this is going to help women. I will come to you and say you are not helping women but that you are taking there right to choose away. I think you should go and Google third wave Feminism and see if you will still be pushing there agenda. What you are doing is taking there right to chose and there jobs away from them. Now they are even trying to get the profession modeling band because they are sending the wrong idea out there and men are buying women magazines to make to models objects. This topic goes a lot deeper then you think. don’t make the sport we love a battle field for feminism what you not understand.

      1. @koosoos ‘Feminism’ is simply the pursuit of empowering women in society and enabling greater equality between men and women in all aspects of life. There’s no agenda being pushed here that I can see other than Keith trying to facilitate debate about an area of inequality between men and women in Formula 1.

        1. Totally agree. Susie Wolff’s lap times are the one and only thing that matter. In Formula 1 (or GP2, GP3, BTCC, WEC), there is no better indicator or metric toward gender equality than lap times and podiums.

        2. @willwood. No second wave feminism is the pursuit of equality. Equality means the right one has the other must have. This is not the pursuit of equality. That is way i said go and look a what third wave feminism is. It is the pursuit of what women must be and not be. The problem with it is that women does not have the right to choose what role she can play in society but that a select few will decide of what role women plays in society. There are a wast difference between the too.
          Lets take this topic we have at hand tonight. The one how is being discriminate against is the man. The work place does not allow a man to be a grid man but woman are aloud to be a grid girl. The funny thing is that even if you have grid men and women a third wave feminist will still not be satisfied. They will discard the notion that there is man on the gird but will still clam that women are mad sexual objects. But may by this is not a topic for this site so i will stop here

          1. @koosoos I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t agree with your perspective on it.

            However, I do agree that this isn’t really the place to discuss the wider issue of feminism so I shall follow your lead and leave this particular discussion here. :)

    36. How about a ban on Bernie?

    37. Only problem is that the WEC Hasn’t gotten rid of grid girls, there were still there at Silverstone just not on the grid and in much more revealing outfits than I had seen in any of the first four grand prix. They people that say this “ban” has come into effect are hypocrites. Long way to go yet, hope the WEC starts by doing what they said they were going to do.

      1. Yes, and TV producers and directors feel the need to insert shots of them at least once every minute. Particularly in shows which are meant to be highlights of the race.

    38. Let’s have a debate on the topic “Left-wing people should learn to stop being interfering busy-bodies driven by a compulsive urge to control everyone elses life”.

      1. @rm @geeyore Do you not believe that there is a problem with gender inequality in motorsport that is worth addressing?

        1. Sure.
          Teams should have equal numbers of each gender changing tires during pit stops (say 6 females on the right, and 6 males on the left of the car).
          Spectator tickets should equally be allocated to female and male fans (gender ID required at entrance gates).
          There should be 10 female and 10 male drivers in each race, with FIA rules being adjusted accordingly.
          There are many other gender-equality mechanisms possible, but none would be based on gender, because that would be sexist.

          1. @geeyore It seems like you’re not really taking this seriously at all.

            1. That would be correct. It’s a silly and trivial, but insidious “issue.”

            2. @geeyore And that’s a real shame. It’s that kind of attitude which is toxic to making progress towards both a more equal society and a better, more positive sport.

            3. This is an F1 forum. There is no coherent intersection between F1 and your personal desire for “a more equal society.” This is a sport involving automobiles racing at high speeds, and the only thing that makes it “more positive” is better drivers in better cars showing better performance.

              You might have confused F1 with professional figure skating.

            4. @geeyore As Formula 1 is one of the only major sports in which men and women are actually able to compete directly against each other at the highest level, I think the reasons why it’s important to look at how women are treated within the sport are pretty self-apparent.

      2. Let’s have a discussion ‘should people who say they’re right wing be allowed to give an entire political side a bad name on the internet by posting silly things’.

        1. How about “Should F1 be devoted to world peace and nuclear disarmament?”

          1. If F1 was involved in starting wars and making nukes then that would be great attitude for F1 to take-up. However, I think all we can ask companies to do is to address the issues which they’re actually a part of. Like F1 and attitudes towards women in sport.

    39. While it could be used as a means to get fans on the grid, or to portray some kind of stereotypical historical dress for those countries which have it, I think the fact is that the function of the grid-girl is entirely redundant now. The display of car numbers can easily be done with a well-designed stand at the front of the car, and people can already fill their boots with “that sort of thing” on the internet and nights in town centres (for most of the world). I don’t think that the eye-candy draws anyone in and it just adds to more clutter to the already-full grids. Nevermind the sexism; it’s just a completely pointless thing to have.

    40. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      26th April 2015, 16:43

      The comment against really isn’t thoroughly covered. The only argument against seems to be history and taste but actually the crucial bit of this argument is that you’d still be banning women from doing something they want to do (whether you like that choice or not). How is men banning women from anything respecting their autonomy?

      Get grid guys. Get grid gurs and girls who are trans and cis. Get grid people who are of all sizes and don’t conform to one narrow minded view of beauty. Hire disabled people. Just use real people. Be more inclusive- that’s what the sport really needs. Its prices are through the roof, the grid is full of very macho, straight guys who were all born into wealth otherwise they wouldn’t be able to have ever competed. Grid people are important as they do reflect on the attitudes of the sport so let’s show the world that the sport can do better and can be for everyone.

      One of the biggest problems with the lack of equality in the sport is that people don’t take it seriously. When we can be bothered to examine it we come up with lazy solutions which are good for headlines and yet the evidence shows they aren’t that much good for anything else. Let’s look at evidence and the nuance of the argument. What dehumanises women who are grid girls is talking and writing about them as though they are just window dressing and that they aren’t humans. We have models in life so why is this different? We need a comprehensive look at equality and diversity because it’s an issue where the sport frankly is in crisis. It works for the few and not the many which means the sport is only a fraction as good as it should be.

      Let’s be serious and look at why more girls can’t progress from karting even though its a field where they have had a lot of representation and success in. Let’s take a look at the shoddy treatment of any trans competitor in any sport and see how F1 can be different. Let’s look at the racism that’s in the sport – and I don’t just mean Lewis (although that is a serious issue) as you could pick any article about Alonso or Massa and see a reference in the comment about their “Latin temperament”. Let’s look at why no F1 driver has ever come out and yet why all the attention is on why footballers haven’t. Let’s have a look at issues of sexual harassment which appear throughout the different series and why this is an issue that is silent. On a list of priorities, this issue is fairly low anyway and yet it still gets more attention than the others because it’s seen as an easy fix.

      If F1 wants to be the best sport it needs to get serious and it needs to do things which are supported by evidence. So many times we all complain as fans that F1 makes knee jerk decisions which aren’t supported by facts and have been rushed through and this would just be another one.

      1. I honestly cannot envision any better or faster way of destroying a sport than adopting a political agenda (rather than a performance agenda) as its raison d’être.

      2. How is men banning women from anything respecting their autonomy?

        It isn’t so much ‘banning women’ as taking the paid role for models away. You go on to say that anyway by suggesting that the role be opened up to all kinds of people- that work wouldn’t realistically be paid, it would be representative fans volunteering, or competition winners. So in this model of opening up the role, it is no longer a paid modelling job and you have indeed gotten rid of grid girls.

        1. Remind me not to work in any company you might end up managing!

    41. Like I said before, I have no opinion on this and I think that F1 has more important issues to deal with than this. Let’s just put the subject of grid girls behind us now.

      1. Simply because it isn’t the main issue, does not mean it should not be addressed. How would you feel if you went to a doctor with a back ache and he said to you ‘well, 2500 people just died in Nepal, let’s put your issue behind us’?

        1. Grid girls is not even an issue. And your example is not really a good one, because the grid girl ”issue” does not involve people dying or being injured. It is a non-issue. Dealing with Bernie Ecclestone and getting rid of his rubbish is much more important.

    42. Quite an interesting take on being a ‘grid girl’ at COTA. And nothing but positive.


      I’m not saying the whole practice isn’t sexist… but I’m not saying it is either; I’m afraid I don’t really have an opinion on it.

      It’s interesting that you don’t hear of people protesting similar practices in boxing and other contact sports, car and motorbike shows, air stewarding (though to be fair, there are many more male flight attendants these days)…

      The rows of applauding ladies at the end of the race (as the drivers ascend to the podium) is utterly deplorable and embarrassing though, no question. It’s not that it’s sexist even, just embarrassing.

    43. It is a pointless profession/job that should have died out decades ago. But “banning” it simply based on gender is even more sexist and leaves no room for individual’s choice. Capability has to be prioritized over gender, especially in high-demand “sport” like F1.

    44. If Formula 1 wants to appeal to female fans in the same capacity as its male fans, then continuing to bring girls in just to give the men something to look at is not the way to go about it.

      I’ve seen a lot of arguments saying that stopping women from doing what they want is a bad thing, but I imagine most (if not all) of the girls involved have full-time jobs, be it in modelling or elsewhere. So I’d imagine the loss of a one-off gig at a Formula 1 race is not going to have an enormous impact on their lives. Grid girls aren’t all bad, but I think their presence does more harm than good. Perhaps it would be wrong to stop enabling women to indulge in a bit of modelling for a weekend — but I reckon more potential female fans are put off by the grid girls. Certainly more than the few hundred women who work as F1 grid girls each year.

      The only other thing I’ll say on the matter is that, as a straight male, average-looking and on the chubby side, the thought of good-looking grid guys makes me feel pretty uncomfortable. I can only assume that there are a lot of female fans who feel the same about grid girls. That’s why I think F1 should get rid of them.

    45. I’m amazed that some people think it would be more sexist to stop hiring grid girls than to keep hiring them.

      The current situation is this: there are some jobs at every F1 event which are only available to women – young, attractive women, specifically. A man applying to be a grid girl would be turned down. How is that not sexist?

      The suggested solution is this: find which parts of a grid girl’s role are still needed and open those jobs up to everyone, regardless of gender, and don’t hire anyone just to be eye candy. How is that sexist?

      The wider issue here is about the objectification of women but let’s start with the very basics since so many people seem incapable of understanding it.

    46. If gird girls go i’ll stop watching. Not because i’m drooling over them, but because there’s a senseless crusade going on against everything manly these days.

      1. @shrieker With good reason. The concept of ‘manliness’ does a lot of men and boys a lot of harm all over the world.

        1. pxcmerc (@)
          27th April 2015, 6:37

          yeah, but political correctness has killed a great many more.

    47. Among F1’s plethora of problems, this shouldn’t even register. Unless you’re a SJW of course.

      1. @shrieker Assuming I’ve looked up your UPA* correctly, what’s wrong with justice?

        *Utterly Pointless Acronym

    48. maybe pirelli too, with the calendar.

    49. I hate political correctness.
      Still I feel they shoul go:
      – their ‘role’ is useless. Cheerleaders actually perform and send a message of girlpower and teamspirit.
      – they’re part of Bernie’s utter stupid dinosaur culture. It’s just old, just like whining about having a certain number of horsepower or repeating the ‘joke’ of spraying champaign on the music of Carmen
      – I can’t explain it to my kids. That means it’s too complex or it is unexplainable. Complexity is not the issue.
      – WEC stopped. So you can look stupid and old fashioned to stick with it, or change it.

    50. I find it difficult when people say grid girls should be banned because they don’t add anything to the sport than being some kind of object to be adored. Imagine the modern F1 where the role of drivers is diminishing gradually and they would not add much to F1 than letting robots driving the cars? Shall we ban the drivers?

      And those banging this issue because they can’t satiate their gay apetite? What? Don’t people understand we are supposedly living in a democratic world (at lease a majority of democratic countries in this world) and the opinion & views of the majority prevails unless it oppresses the minority? Women are the minority in motorsports. Take their views. Do they feel being relegated to sex objects in being grid girls? Do they want this practice to continue or against it? Please don’t bring this gay propoganda in to this. There are homosexuals who are lesbians too.

    51. F1 has come a long way since its first started, now lets not get to fashionable with all the who wants them and who doesnt….keep the girls and get on with it,soon it will be robots instead of mechanics. C´mon the girls who are Grid girls do it because they want to…dont they have a say in it???????????????

    52. Why is this still being discussed? I don’t think it’s remotely relevant. Hell, I think even the helmet ban has even some very minor relevance whereas this “issue” does not.

      1. Well clearly its the most debated topic on f1fanatic so there must be some sort of relevance.

    53. I’m honest enough to say I like grid girls but essentially it is a woman in a skimpy outfit to look good for the men watching at home.
      Therefore I fully understand and support the banning of this in future F1 events if such a decision were to be made.
      They aren’t needed.

    54. and I guess the smiles, waves and kisses they send through the T.V. are forced too and it’s all in Bernies big plan to rule the world. I don’t mind seeing them, and as far as ‘equality’ goes if all drivers are male and the grid girls holding their number is female that sounds 50/50 to me.

    55. and another thing, who really needs a sausage fest!!

    56. Having been at the 6 Hours of Silverstone WEC round a few weeks ago, I was quite surprised to find that the ‘fan area’ in the entertainment paddock was staffed strictly by ‘glamorous ladies’. To me it seemed that these were the ‘grid girls’ that were no longer on the grid, and couldn’t help seem a bit hypocritical, now that they are moved ‘out of the way’ rather than being ‘gotten rid of’ as per the news articles.

      I also wonder whether using grid girls to get people into Motorsport is a good idea.. Surely the focus should be on the cars, drivers and teams? After all, when the grid walk has finished, and the racing has started, those grid girls are nowhere near the action.

    57. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      27th April 2015, 4:26

      if women arent racing and winning trophies and admiration and jumping on the podium is simply because they havent been good enough! yet! one day will come where they at least race and sone day when they also win! but having grid girls has nothing to do with that: they would stil be there smiling, looking good and holding things!!! and then there you will have BOTH roles!!! and no problem!!! keep the sexy, beautiful grid girls!!! if someone reads sexism in that, that is their own problem!!! crawl back under your stone!

    58. This is ridiculous! They are MODELS!!! THEY CHOSE to be MODELS!! There is NOTHING Wrong with admiring beauty, and there is nothing more beautiful on this planet than women. Can we honestly say that having grid girls is sexist when when the women in question chose to do this for a career or to pay for school?

    59. The problem is with our current society– there is no middle ground. Either having grid girls is a fine old tradition, or it’s sexist.

      Similarly, if I like looking at an attractive woman, I’m a sexist pig who wants to keep women subjugated (which I’m not, but no one stops to consider me as a unique individual). I can’t compliment a co-worker on a nice dress, because that’s sexual harassment– ironically, the people I’ve heard complain about that the most are the women who went out of their way to dress nicely, and no one’s allowed to tell them.

      Take the “incident” from the Shanghai podium– a young, attractive (and, it should be noted, with a full-time day job in business) woman is sprayed with champagne during the podium celebrations. This causes outrage because she was photographed flinching– and since the only reason she could be flinching is that she was being abused, suddenly we have a story. Except she flinched because of champagne being sprayed in her face, and wasn’t particularly bothered by it (if she’d been worried, she’d have skipped with the other 4 or 5 women and the other well-dressed gentlemen from the podium awards).

      Was Hamilton being sexist? Apparently– he sprayed three men and one woman.

      Personally? I think they improve the show just as much as showing the girlfriends / wives / friends of Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Horner, Rosberg, Bernie, et al. I don’t think it’s demeaning to women (although I am reminded of an incident a couple years ago where a grid girl collapsed on the grid, and the driver’s first reaction was “Is my car ok?”).

      But, as I say, I think it’s possible to appreciate a woman’s beauty without considering her solely as a sex object or as property, and apparently, this makes me somewhat peculiar. At the very least, it places me outside the “accepted wisdom” regarding men.

      1. No – it really does not.

        I have finally after trawling through this pile of self serving crap such ‘its a’societal issue’ ‘remove their jobs – its better for the poor lasses and they are too stupid to know better’ and other cr&p, found a like minded soul!!

    60. I get both sides of this, honestly.

      I do feel that as a society it feels strange that we use attractive females as decoration.. But the reality is that they’re not really being exploited by Formula 1.

      These women have worked very hard to look the way they do and they’ve chosen to earn a living by looking good. There’s an entire fashion and modeling industry that works this way and while at times it seems odd that it exists, it also seems odd to tell people that they can’t earn a living this way.

      As long as they’re willing to do it and there’s a broader market that’s willing to support it, why should F1 say no? Likewise, if they want to put a couple of dapper gents up there in an attempt to attract female viewers.. so be it – I’m fine with it… though it doesn’t usually work that way.

    61. The sport doesn’t really need the grid girls for it to remain fully functional, they are just there for show and to essentially to be looked at. So getting rid of them should not be that big of an issue.

      But then again, this issue is a very complex one.

    62. ha y would someone come up with an idea of grid guys?? i thought there were plenty of it already…

    63. I’m uncomfortable with the “row of clapping dolls” shot we get as the three top drivers prepare for the podium ceremony. It’s demeaning to the drivers and the ladies. And some of the “grid girl” activity seems equally pointless.
      If there is a job to be done that includes maybe carrying umbrellas or placards with driver numbers on, fine. Anyone could do it – local school kids would love it, fans would pay to do it…
      However, reading the comments I can see that a lot of people here just don’t see what the problem is.
      Clearly, James Hunt had other things on his mind (and on his car) before races – can we imaging anything like that happening in this era? Let’s move on, preferably into the future.

    64. I admit I haven’t bothered to read all the posts so I apologise if someone has already made this point.

      It is necessary to have to have someone standing there with a placard to help the drivers into the correct grid positions. After that has happened, the placard is redundant so let one of the mechanics do it.

      1. I apologise if somebody’s already made this joke, but last time Maldonado needed a few more people directing him to the right place on the grid!

    65. I think the only problem with grid girls is that they are not naked and draped Hunts McLaren.

    66. I hate political correctness like this. It’s such a clear display of what’s wrong with the world these like gluten free diets and quinoa.

      People pretending to care passionately about utterly unimportant “issues” so they can ignore the real problems.

    67. These grid girls,what do they hold in their hands again ?

      1. I don’t know. I am too busy looking!

        1. do they have heads ?

    68. This is a question which really only women can answer. I think as men we should understand that sometimes our opinions, no matter how well intentioned, are inevitably coloured by our privilege and our own preconceptions about gender roles and how others perceive the world we inhabit.

    69. I don’t get to this website as often as I used to last year but when I see editorial positions like this (and indeed the majority vote!) taking the progressive stance, I am impressed.

      There’s no reason why F1 can’t be exciting, glamorous AND inspiring to both boys and girls.

      And am I right in saying that the Suzuka hasn’t had grid girls for three or more years already? Looks like Japan is ahead of the curve on this one.

    70. Meh. Guess i’m just sexist and old fashoined. I like cars. I like racing cars even better. You know what makes racing cars even more attractive? Hot girls… That’s what. It makes me happy as it does with most red blooded males. I also think that motorsport in general is watched by more men than women as it’s a form of combat in a way… It’s a loose generalisation but still, that’s the way I feel. 200,000 years of evolution made the male of the human species the combatant. We go all “monkey like” and “mob mentality” takes over whenever there’s a fight or some type of competition nearby. It’s instinctive and it’s testosterone. Why try to fight what comes naturally. Stuff this modern PC world…

    71. I grew up watching F1 — my parents took me to my first GP when I was 2 years old. I don’t remember seeing many women in the F1 world during my childhood, apart from the grid girls. I grew up with no idea that I could potentially work in motor sport, because it seemed to be purely a man’s world… unless you’re a 6ft skinny beautiful girl with a killer smile, in which case you could hold a brolly or a pit board at a grand prix.
      Nowadays, there are many more women in F1 — some highly visible, like Monisha Kaltenborn and Claire Williams — some less so, like the numerous female team members who can be glimpsed in the garages and on the pit wall during TV coverage of race weekends. Women are still massively outnumbered by men in the sport, of course, but that is probably partly due to the fact that there were even fewer 20-30 years ago; had there been a Claire Williams or a Gill Jones back in the 1980s, perhaps I would have grown up with an interest in working in motor sport as I would have understood that it was possible. I would like to see more women working in F1, but this is something that will happen naturally, not something that should be forced by patronising ideas of women-only championships and the like.
      The presence of grid girls in F1 reinforces the archaic and frankly revolting idea that a woman’s primary role is to look nice for men. To be honest, I am not nearly as insulted by the use of grid girls as I am by Lotus having hired Carmen Jorda — an attractive woman who was laughably slow throughout her GP3 career and has done absolutely nothing on track to earn her place in an F1 team. (I realise there are male drivers of whom the same can be said — we all know that money talks in F1 — but male pay drivers don’t seem to get nearly as much TV time as Jorda, regardless of how easy-on-the-eye they may be.)
      Some commenters on this article have suggested it would be wrong to ban grid girls as they are just models trying to make a living. Thanks for your concern, but don’t worry; I’m sure these models will find work elsewhere. I certainly don’t mean to insult anyone who works as a model, because it is undoubtedly a hard job in an extremely harsh industry. Some people unfairly assume all models are stupid, but in fact it is their job to show off what they are modelling, and therefore not display their own minds or characters. And that’s fine. But while F1 likes to flirt with fashion, it is not part of the fashion industry. It’s a sport. And it would be nice if it was a sport in which women could be seen as fully functional human beings, with brains, personalities and skills, rather than pretty little objects for the boys to enjoy.
      So, while I am not angry enough about the existence of grid girls to lose any sleep over it, I do think that they symbolise and perpetuate the problem of sexism in F1 in general. So whether it’s through hiring ‘grid guys’ (which I feel would only emphasise the ridiculousness and superfluousness of the role) or banning them altogether, something really ought to be done.

      1. Top post @ladym

        My only difference of opinion would be over Carmen Jorda – in general the male F1 drivers are prettier than average too, so it obviously helps, and her role is an active, positive one for girls to aspire to. Her unfair advantage isn’t really different from having money, it seems to me.

        I agree Grid Guys would reveal how shallow the whole thing is. Maybe that would be a good first step.

    72. machinesteve
      27th April 2015, 19:35

      Should we have grid girls in 2015.


      As a bloke of 53 it makes my skin crawl with embarrassment when I see that line of girls clapping- really creepy.

      So NO NO NO simple

    73. Deja vu all over again. We’ve already had all the comments before, stated our views and nobody is going to change their minds. This is just a click-bait article and a rather desperate one at that.

    74. I think it would be great for a local artist to make a stand to hold the grid number. Then you could enlist youngsters to run out and put them away for the start. And you could put live web cams on each one….ooh, neato.

      @patrickl Yes, quinoa is awful. Yet the worst part of quinoa is that people feel a need to say they like it because quinoa is ‘pre-industrial’ and ‘closer to earth’. Don’t lie about liking a food because it reinforces some ideal you subscribe to.

    75. Keep them. Women are beautiful.

    76. Hmmm, grid girls in motor sport, round card girls in boxing, cheerleaders in american football, where do you stop, where do you draw the line? It’s ok having an opinion about how you perceive the commercialisation of beauty, but to start banning things because of that opinion starts to become dictatorial and removes the freedom of choice of the participants. If the girls didn’t want to stand there showing off their attributes they would have an office job. Or shall we go back to one piece swimsuits elbows and knees in sporting events too? Lets ban adverts that show scantily clad ladies too, in fact shall we cover them in black cloth to protect their modesty? It’s business. it’s heritage. It’s tradition. Leave it alone.

    77. Mike (@parameter)
      31st May 2015, 6:07

      … oh yeah.. I forgot to mention, the new creatures, will have no names, they will have numbers. “welcome to the new world!”

    78. Ask the women that do that job what they think, let them decide. I just see a well paid?, fun to be part of, job door closing for happy energetic women.

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