Grid, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

“Tarty nonsense”: F1’s use of grid girls is ‘under review’

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In the round-up: The use of grid girls at F1 races, which some claim is sexist, is being reconsidered.

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  • 145 comments on ““Tarty nonsense”: F1’s use of grid girls is ‘under review’”

    1. Grid girls is a funny topic. I don’t have any strong feelings about it being an exploitative practice, pretty much all employment is you being exploited for a given quality you have and I don’t see how being rewarded for being physically gifted is any different than being rewarded for being intellectually gifted so long as the individual is free to choose and happy to participate.

      But I also have zero strong feelings of support for the continued practice, it’s not why I watch F1, it doesn’t add to the sport, it’s not a meaningful tradition, and I honestly think if the practice were abandoned we’d all forget about the issue with a couple of weeks and the show would remain exactly as entertaining.

      1. I agree entirely with the first part you write.

        However, I think in a sport mostly made up of men (burly, oily mechanics anyone?) it’s nice to have a flash of feminine beauty on the grid. I watch F1 for the racing for sure, but as a young man I do take notice of the grid girls and their different styles depending on the country.
        I like that juxtaposition with the roaring machinery and the delicate grace of the grid girls.

        But then again this is 2017 and what I’ve just said is probably racist, homophobic, sexist and generally offensive all in one!

        1. For sure somebody somewhere was offended with your last quote over there.

          Regarding the Grid Girls subject, it does not make a difference for me the fact that they are girls, I personally enjoy watch the girls in the grid (as any other man would) and don’t think that any person should believe that it diminishes woman generally.
          I’m pretty sure they are workers who get paid and enjoy their day of work, or just get on with it for that matter, nobody is pointing a gun at them to stand in front of a F1 car with a sign.

      2. Well put @philipgb .

        It’s not like they are hiring wealthy or well connected people or a “money laundering operation”, it’s well payed jobs for regular people, who knows if some of these girls see this as an opportunity to get close to f1, surely most see it as a career boost.

        I kind of get where @sato113 is coming from. I think it’s simpler than that, we, humans like pretty things, like in the articles caption, to showcase a product you don’t need to be flashing skin, the models above are showcasing Mexico’s tradition and all ties down with the race as part of a commercial push for tourism . By things like Sato said, I’ve might be saying something incredibly inappropriate and if this was my real identity, my career, my life would be over, because 1st world problems….

        To me the silliest thing is to stop doing it just for the sake of, just because the practice is currently regarded as sexist and tasteless, we people seem not to understand Humanity no more.
        End it, because you are going to distribute the money fairly to all teams but Ferrari, a little more….

      3. I agree 100%. I don’t have any strong opinion here either. The only reasoning why some seem to be against grid girls is because it hurts women somehow. Being a model is something a lot more women want compared to men. Being a successful model is a job and all these women are doing it because it pays their bills. As far as I can tell these grid girls have more business being on the f1 grid than couple women drivers who have no racing pedigree at all and still get to drive in official f1 sessions (suzi wolff, married to williams engine manufacturer toto wolff and carmen jorda whose racing career is not based on her skills on track).

        While I think it is good idea to have some guidelines about the clothing (I think they do have) I don’t really see the reasoning to ban the whole thing. You see them so little in the broadcasts anyways that you really need to go out of your way to see them. I mean I don’t really care either way but I’d still want the reasoning to be something better than degrading to women. If it is degrading to woman are you also against all modelling jobs because I don’t see any difference standing in f1 grid or standing in front of camera in a studio.

        Other question is if grid girls go away then should they be replaced by something. And by what? Maybe there is a chance to try something new here. Maybe have some local young drivers (aged 14-16-ish) stand there holding signs for their favourite drivers? And then come to the podium with their drivers after the race (I can already see people wanting to get rid of champagne because of alcohol…)? Showcase the local racing talent. Karting champions, junior formula winners and other young motorsports competitors. Knowing f1 is f1 these young kids would probably be soon replaced by the kids of the local motorsport bosses and millionaires. Here’s hoping it would not go into that.

        1. I don’t think the argument you bring up of people, including those who promote the sport only talking about this “it hurts women somehow” is accurate at all @socksolid. Fact is, Gridgirls is a relic of a mysogenist past. A past that the sport should leave behind, to improve on, get to use more of the talent that is out there in our wide world.

          For me the reason why I think having grid girls is only there because we sort of got used to it. But it really is not something that does anything positive for F1. It certainly doesn’t stand out, because every other motorsport does it already.

          Instead, it would be far better to support grass routs motorsport by having young kids who perform well in their category get the chance to BE on the grid, be there maybe with their favourite driver and that way get to see where they strive to be one day as a reward for their efforts.

          It would give the opportunity for the sport to grow, for new talent to be motivated, and the local motor sport scene would get an ace oppertunity to present itself as well. I would love to then watch short features about who the kids there are, and why they are on the grid.

          1. That’s actually a great idea. Get the nation’s best karters out there, see F1 cars and their heroes up close.

          2. @bascb I didn’t really have an opinion as almost all advertising uses “good looking” people – it’s the world we live in….. I was neither for or against.

            Your idea of young local drivers is great though and by having grid girls, were missing out on that. Ive been converted. Well done! :)

          3. @bascb — your thoughts are most often “right on target” and today’s “let’s support junior branches of motor racing” is one of them; but for goodness sake “relic of a mysogenist past” (misogynist?) is not one of your better ones.

            For better or for worse F1 is a spectacle. I personally would like to think it’s motor sport, but the Ecclestones, Todts, Brauns and Careys of today’s world prove that the “free to air” possibility is crassly money/advertising based and biased. We complain that there isn’t enough money for smaller teams, but if we do away with “spectacle” then F1 overall will lose finances, TV time, audience, international visibility — and while we might be able to cut down on the “big team favouritism” but there will still be less money in the overall pot.

            So, back to your misogyny. The ladies (old-fashioned word, silly me) in today’s world are genuinely looking for “equality.” They’re getting there (too?) slowly but denying pit girls their employment, most often promoting local tradition and national pride, is counterproductive. If dress code is important, I could equally point out most “TV presenters” with their belts a foot below their waists, and at least one driver dressed up in earings and diamonds. So what? The world moves on, I’m happy, and unless the pit girls are being forced against their wills into their jobs, you should be too.

            I’ll finish by saying that I enjoy beauty, colour, vivacity and diversity. I’m happy saying that the latest Sauber|Ferrari|whatever is sexy — that’s motorsport. For anything else, both you and I have an on/off button on our TV screens — it’s called freedom of choice.

          4. @bascb I don’t agree about grid girls being a “relic of misogynist past”. But, what I’m disagreeing more than that is people talking about either completely ban grid girls or every F1 race will still have grid girls. What about leave it to the circuit owner or promoter or main sponsor? They can have grid girls in one race , grid boys in next, and grid attack copters after that for all I care.

            And I also disagree about having young talent doing the job too. Why would you want they to stand in front of their hero car, so close yet they can’t examine the car or even looking back at it because they asked to stand, face forward, and holding a stick with their hero number with a smile? Not to mention the drivers is not even near them 90% of their time spent there, and even then they will be more interested in talking with their trainer and engineers or being interviewed instead. The young talent can meet and talk with the drivers before or after the race behind closed door but please spare them the grueling task of standing still for half an hour and can do nothing at mid day. At least the grid girls is paid for it.

        2. Lots of terrible ideas here… do you guys work for the FIA??

      4. I have a problem explaining grid girls and their submissive behavior to my daughter. So I talk about other stuff.

        Holding an umbrella and applauding people who hardly seem to notice you. Cringeworthy to watch.

        I have zero problems with sexy women, but in today’s music videos they project power and control and that I can appreciate – and explain to my daughter.

        1. @verstappen

          Explain it as being submissive in the same manner as almost any other job.

          Sometimes that means greeting a customer with ‘good morning’, carrying heavy things, or going into a warzone when you’re told to because you’ve agreed to subjugate to a superior for your role.

          And for these girls it means being there largely for decorative purposes. And I don’t mean that to be belittling, I’ve had plenty of jobs that I don’t feel fulfill my potential, I would have been considerably happier if I’d been gifted with the physical beauty need to be a model to do that instead.

          What if your daughter would actually aspire to being a model but had to contend with your not respecting the role?

          Just accept it’s a fact of life that done roles are 1-dimensional, but it doesn’t make them exploitative or make them any less a noble pursuit. For all we know the front jack man is really funny or creative while he acts as a glorified hoist.

          1. @philipgb – I think you need to read what @verstappen actually said, not what you think he said. I too have a young daughter. We have no problem with modelling. That’s not the same as “grid girls”.

        2. @verstappen I have less of a problem explaining grid girls to my daughter than I have “powerful women in music video’s”. Like Nicky Minaj shaking her ass with a camera stuck in there or Hanna Montana naked on a wrecking ball.

          1. Well I also have no problem with nudity or dancing even if the dance clearly is about lovemaking. It’s about who’s in charge.
            Grid girls or even boys are not there to advertise certain clothes, or make up or a certain type of umbrella.

            So they differ from real models. Besides to my untrained eye it seems that the population of these girls are definitely not all models. As in – how do you shine on camera or photos. Which is different from having a gene pool which looks pleasing to most people. So if my daughter wanted to become a model, I’d make her study that job instead of holding a sign with a number on it.

            In F1 the grid girls are no more or less than an accessory or a yapping happy puppy, ignored by his boss.

        3. @Verstappen I think you could tell your daughter that the girls might be a race fan and this way she has the chance to involved in race weekend and possibly meeting their favorite driver. Not to mention free ticket to watch live race, which I’m sure almost all of us would love to have that. Or maybe they’re college girls, studying to fulfill their dream and this is an easy extra money for the month. Or both. Don’t emphasize why you think grid girls is useless or cringeworthy extras, but instead focused more on why those girls is still a strong and respectable ladies despite taking the job as grid girls.

      5. If grid girls are dropped does that also mean there’ll be nobody lining the stairs up to the cool-down room, awkwardly clapping and smiling?

      6. @philipgb I don’t think it’s that funny actually. I got no hard feelings either but can’t help but see lined up girls in micro skirts on the way to the podium as prize objects, which is a degrading and relatively archaïc image of women and contradictory with the will to promote women in the sport.

        1. @spoutnik My apologies if you were already aware or if English isn’t your first language, but I believe @philipgb used the word “funny” in this context to denote a subject that is difficult to explain or understand. The word has meanings other than to find something amusing. Having said that I can appreciate if you also don’t find it “funny” in the explaining/understanding sense.

          1. @ninjenius thanks, I didn’t misunderstood his comment actually. I agree with most that was said but was expressing my view :)

        2. @spoutnik – I loved your archaic spelling of “archaïc” – I haven’t seen it accented that way for a very, very long time. It’s a bit like “coöperate”, much easier to read. But this is English – the least regular language I know.

          1. @tribaltalker The french word for archaic is archaïque. It is funny as even in the french language such ortography tend to be simplified: île (isle) can now be written ile. But for some words it’s more difficult and in this case archaic could be pronounced with an ‘ai’ more like the a in ‘blade’, hence the typo :).

    2. I don’t mind grid girls. They are female models after all doing their job. Maybe they could just use male models as well…?

      Or make it a special invitation for kids around the grandstands. Maybe a lottery with the numbers on the tickets… 20 families enjoying a nice time in the grid, and a kid getting something he’ll never forget.

      1. I think young fans like soccer matches have would be a good idea.

      2. Lennard Mascini (@)
        15th December 2017, 8:35

        THIS! +100000

      3. It’s been a few years now that this idea is pushed to replace grid girls with fans. For me it has always been the best alternative and would have a huge success.!

      4. As mentioned above, young local (national) motorsports champions.

      5. I would replace the grid girls with all those useless people who walk there anyway (celebrities).
        They go to F1 only to be seen and in many instances do not even care about the racing. Let’s give them an umbrella and a grid number and position them 15min on the grid.
        Those that do not watch the race (having dinner, etc) get the bonus of being allowed to applaud the winner when climbing the stairs to the podium.

    3. Saying Massa would have won overlooks the mindset that sent Massa out on to the race track with a faulty suspension system. He retired on lap 25, 26 laps behind the winner. While it is plausible he could have won, it is also plausible something else would have failed.

      1. I too see it as a ridiculous statement…

        Without any issues, Hamilton would have won the race, its Williams trying to make themselves sound more competitive than they really are. It’s a shame really with the pedigree of racing they had to see them as a midfield team.

        1. No, both wrong, it’s journo’s making news.

          @ducpham2708 The problem is that this is a topic in the first place, it’s not who’s objectifying who, as you pointed out everyone cares in varying degrees with looks so deal with it. The thing that stings to me, is that society is finding ways to force whatever anyone wants on these kind of pretences, pretences that are as innocent as choir boys sins.
          One of these days, it’s like saying all women, all people, are victims of harassment by default. “I got married, therefore I’m in a relationship with my stalker…”
          Narrow minded people use to turn right but now they turn left, good thing f1 turns both ways, maybe tomorrow we’ll have a driver announcement.

        2. @WilliamsRacing will probably never be a winner…

          Sadly, that wouldn’t look out of place in a 2018 F1 preview.

          If that 1975 preview really said “@WilliamsRacing” then it was whole generations ahead of its time!

    4. Re Grid girls; if anything I find it a bit offensive to woman banning them, as some are suggesting that its a job role that is downgrading and tarty as if there’s no one on that grid that is intellectual.
      Women can have brains and want to work as in a promotional role that helps increase brand awareness and promote a product. There’s literally nothing wrong with it.
      I know a few grid girls who are entrepreneurs and highly intelligent, same with football cheerleaders. They are using their looks, image, talent, personality to provide a solution for businesses needing to promote their product or industry.

      There’s a demand for it in a male-dominated industry. If there was a demand for male cheerleaders in another sport that predominately female, men should be more than able to do the same thing.

      If anything, Carmen Jorda trying to create a divide between male and female motorsport has probably damaged the reputation of woman in motorsport than the whole grid girl industry.

      1. Isn’t the whole contention that it is a male dominated sport, and plenty of people would like to see women involved at every level as sports people – from drivers to designers and mechanics etc. All of us with daughters have at some point had a difficult question as to why girls can’t do x-y or z, but men can. When your daughters interpret society this way, it’s no wonder so few of them grow up to try the things that they don’t really believe they will get to do.

        That being said, I don’t think we need to scrap the girls, but maybe get rid of the applauding and have them visibly more involved in the sport – yes holding signs and umbrellas, but also, when not on the grid, they could have a role in explaining the sport to new fans, have them be an expert in the driver they are hosting and answer questions on tactics, aero or tyres – something to show that they are much more than just their looks, but valuable to the sport beyond that

        1. I don’t think it would good for f1 to have total non-technical amateurs explain f1 to fans. All tv channels who have some kind of technical analyst or explainer person always tend to have someone in that position who truly understands f1 and has maybe even worked in f1. Either as a driver or engineer. And before people interpret me saying women somehow could not do it – that is not the point. I’d be happy to have women engineers and tech people on tv. But to make the grid girls basically learn all the intricacies of f1 car and f1 race and then explain it to fans (in what setting?) is too big shoes to fill for any person.

          And if such person should be women only position then does it even improve things? Everytime you put gender restrictions to a role you need to be careful why those restrictions are there. If f1 had women as tech explainers and men as engineers are you solving a problem or creating one? I for one would want any f1 explainer to be the best person who can do that job. Regardless which gender that person is. Regardless of what color, religion or sexuality. When the position is about true merit and not about politics or agendas that person being female will only then truly put men and women as equals. If you make it women only then it is nothing more than indication of what you think is a woman’s job and place in f1.

          For me the main issues here is with logic. People make the claim that this hurts women’s chances in f1 and that it degrades women. Yet at the same time teams are pulling all the strings they can so they can get more women as engineers and techs. Teams are willing to even drop standards to get women f1 drivers (even when there would be better women available). If it is hurting women then I don’t see it. How is it hurting women? We have women as team principals, engineers, directors, working on track safety, marshals.. And every year we have more.

    5. Yes, according to these feminists, when men like soccer players or F1 drivers star in shirt-less, or even almost-naked, fragrance, shampoo, or underwear commercials, it is a symbol of how success is associated with the male gender. Yet when women show off their beauties in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or as grid girls, it is a symbol of how society objectifies women and how women are only evaluated on how they look.

      I don’t think any fan of F1 watches F1 because of the grid girls, and most non-hardcore people would skip the “pre-shows” to go straight to the racing itself. But if any guy watches because of the grid girls, so what? I know women who watch the WWE or soccer just because the men there are well-built and hot. Women go out with makeups and men go to gyms to build their abs. Looks matter in this world (and this is coming from a relatively overweight person). Deal with it.

      1. You don’t have to be a feminist to know an outdated practice when you see one and you don’t have to make looks matter more than they already do. Marketing objectifies both men and women, but it matters that it’s been happening far longer for women.

    6. God bless Super GT and Super Formula for their Race Queens.

    7. The picture chosen to go above the headline made me chuckle!

      Regarding the topic itself, what has been the opinion of the grid girls themselves? Do they feel objectified? Do they dislike their attire? Do they attract any unwelcome or unwanted attention? Any harassment?

      Or, do they enjoy themselves, the pay is good, a little bit of international TV exposure?

      I think it’s a bit odd for its to be commenting on grid girls without having their views and opinions represented, given they’re at the centre of this debate.

      Like @philipgb said, I don’t have strong feelings one way or another, and the presence or absence of grid girls does not alter the racing that we watch.

      1. Grid girls aint a special breed. Just ask any women for their oppinion on the exposure. If you wanna know how they enjoy their work and if the pay is good its a personal question, im gonna guess they want a raise like everyone else.

      2. Grid girls are nice and I would say that even enjoy their presence on the grid but it has a lot of side effects that need to be considered.

        I would guess that grid girls do not particularly think about those issues. It is just another opportunity for them to be seen, to earn some money, to meet the right people etc. Actually, it is quite telling that we do not see their opinions on F1F or elsewhere – most grid girls probably do not care much about F1 as a sport. For sure, it would be interesting to hear their own stories but it is more about the message that F1 wants to send to its fraternity and the rest of the world.

      3. Should have used the Martin Brundle twitter picture with 11 Males around a table, not a female in sight. Also change the title to “F1 says no thank you to sex”. Which is something I can believe if you look at the age of the people who run/influence things.

      4. @phylyp Glad you liked the choice of picture. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation choosing one for this subject!

    8. I really don’t understand why the feminisms make EVERYTHING so complicated and hostile.

      1. @peking901

        There’s nothing complicated about it. Get rid of grid girls. They add nothing at all to F1 and are patently sexist. You want to see a bit of flesh? There are plenty of sites on the internet that cater to you, leave F1 as a motorsport.

        1. Or just turn your eyes off the track to the Red bull and Captain Morgan ladies ;)

        2. @fluxsource
          Your wife make you write that comment?
          Let girls be grid girls if they want to. Feminists want equal rights & choice, it’s their choice to be a grid girl.

          1. @s2g-unit

            I’m perfectly capable of not being sexist or stuck in the last century by myself thank you. That you don’t understand why grid girls is a problem speaks volumes about your character and intelligence.

            1. Anything else that you deem as not acceptable and should be banned at the sake of people’s professions?

          2. See, it’s funny isn’t it, how people of certain points of view can’t help but function with insults when faced with just plain human reasoning.

        3. The point is, no body FORCED the girls to do it! They are FREE to quit if they don’t want to do it! They can make their OWN choices! Also, I bet they enjoyed doing their job! To show their beauty, their vitality. The aesthetics from the combination of human&machine.
          You know why sometimes people don’t like feminisms? Because they have victim delusion. They ignore the fact, just like in this case.
          I really don’t want to talk politics here public in a F1 blog. Please just stop.

    9. This is a non-issue, getting rid of grid girls is like getting rid of cheerleaders. They are both non-essential to the sporting event but they add some glamour and beauty and that’s why I like them to be there.

      If they go nothing is truly lost or gained. Again it’s a big fuss over a non-issue.

    10. Now this topic of grid girls is a very controversial and delicate issue. I myself can’t figure out clearly that which side I’m on.

    11. Regarding the BBC-article: What is with this obsession to try to fix something that isn’t broken?
      ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
      – This is one of the most irrelevant topics to focus on.
      Regarding the article: Replace the word ‘would’ with ‘could.’

    12. There are several aspects to the issue of grid girls. Gender equality is an obvious thing to consider. Also, F1 should try to understand why it exists. It should be able to explain its mission to the world and I believe that “fast girls” is most probably not part of that mission. “It’s what you grew up with” is not very good reasoning as nothing can ever be fixed if you believe that it is good just because it is a tradition.

      There is another important aspect, which is usually overlooked. Grid girls are part of an unhealthy culture that forces drivers to appear “manly”. Le Mans winner Danny Watts, who came out as gay earlier this year, admitted that he “needed to lie and womanize”, that he got girlfriends just “to blend in” and that “there were enough gay jokes and homophobic slurs to go around”. In other words, if you do not have a girlfriend and are not into grid girls, then you are not a real man and should not be on the grid. Why does it have to be like that? Racing drivers will always be surrounded by pretty girls anyway; maybe it is time to simply draw a line between the sport and what happens off the track.

      1. Good points there @girts

      2. @girts, not to mention that he also felt under pressure from sponsors to conform to the usual stereotypical behaviour as well, fearing they might otherwise drop their support and leave him unable to compete in the sport. Even afterwards, whilst he was supported for his courage in speaking out, there were still those who seemed uncomfortable discussing his experiences of homophobia in the world of motorsport and wanted to shut down any discussion of those events.

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        15th December 2017, 9:18


      4. Well said @girts!
        I totally agree. I was going to add a few other comments, but I would not want to detract from your well-made points.

      5. Good points.
        But can we have grid persons, please?
        Anyone, of any gender or preference, could be on the grid, if serious and generally good looking of course.
        If that selection turns out to be all girls , so be it.
        Just make sure everyone knows the position is open to all.

      6. @girts : Absolutely to the point. Comment of the day for me.

      7. +1

        Thank you. The comments were really starting to depress me.

    13. Grid girls. Well, that’s 20 cars x 21 races = 420 paying jobs with no required qualifications other than the ability to stand and smile. Good for them.
      Personally, I don’t care. Their existence or absence has no bearing on my enjoyment of the sport.
      Some have suggested gridkids, superfans or some kind of lottery, all fine solutions.
      I’d say leave it up to the host country to use the guaranteed television exposure to the best of their tourism industry can come up with

      1. Yep, standing and smiling is everything they do.

    14. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      15th December 2017, 7:35

      If anything I find the podium girls (may be the same girls, never really paid attention) a more patronising situation, a 100 dispensable girls, looking pretty, clapping mindlessly at the hero men who have raced. They should be replaced by kids and fans who would love that moment. Just depends on the image F1 wants to portray going forward I guess. As for grid girls, I can’t help in thinking it’s a little outdated, especially when you see them in rain delayed races, stood there in hot pants freezing to death etc.

      1. I think they the same people – by far the most depressing thing about watching F1 at the moment.

        I’ve long thought that it’s a pointless addition to F1 and that the sooner the “tradition” is dispensed with, the better. To me, women standing around the cars pre-race doing nothing but smiling and holding an umbrella simply reinforces the incorrect stereotype that women can’t do what men can. That may be part of the reason Carmen Jorda feels justified for holding her opinions on having a separate series – for my take on that one, I refer you to Pippa Mann as she put the case far more eloquently than I can.

    15. Grid girls send the wrong message about women and Motorsport, imho. If they weren’t on the grid in Melbourne would anyone even notice or care? I know I’ll be far more distressed over a grid full of Formula One Cars with roll cages.

      I could not help but notice: “Look at Claire Williams – new mum and combining that with running the Williams team.” Hmm, oh well, never mind.

      And finally, a “breathtaking collection of F1 cars” whose most notable car is a Sauber? That’s hilarious.

    16. Sure, we don’t need grid girls. Replace them with young fans like football. Or grid guys. Or 20 people who identify as a different sex than their body inflicts on them. Or drivers from F2. Or drag queens. Or just those giant flappy arm things you see at used car dealers. Whatever, no-one really cares.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        15th December 2017, 8:27

        Wow! I am completely sold on the flappy arm inflatable things!

    17. Imagine grid girls weren’t a thing, then try and write a pitch for their introduction. “We should have some pretty women on the grid, something for the men to look at. They can hold a pole with a number on — we don’t really need that, but y’know, it makes it look like they’re there for something other than just looking pretty”

      Sure, there are other traditions that seem weird if you tried to introduce them today (bonfire night springs to mind), so I guess the real question is if it’s a tradition worth keeping.

      For me, F1 is still F1 without grid girls. They aren’t a pillar of the sport. So, it doesn’t seem worth keeping as a tradition.

    18. Sigh.
      Did anyone actually bothered to ask the grid girls them self’s what they think about it and if they want to be there?
      No one is forcing them to be there. If you have problems with grid girl then do not become one, but stop trying to force your will upon people whom are perfectly happy with their profession.

      1. If this was about the jobsituation of 20 people then sure you would be right.

      2. The sigh is correct. The rest is just ignorant. Just because a person likes his or hers job dosen’t mean that it is job that should exist.

        See the structure, and why they are there.

        It’s decidede by men for men.

        1. If the grid girls do not have a problem with it WHO CARES.
          All F1 racing drivers are men. lets ban racing drivers. Ban F1 because F1 is racist and should not exist.

          1. I assure you there are gridgirls not liking their job or how they are treated so if thats enough to make you care then its settled.

    19. Lennard Mascini (@)
      15th December 2017, 8:50

      Interesting how Louis Deletraz, who was dropped from the Renault young driver program after one year in 2016 is going to be racing in this heavily Ferrari-sponsored car next year. Apparently Illott, after 4th in his 3rd season in F3 and racing the Silverstone weekend of F2 this year, is still not ready at 19 for F2. Makes you wonder what they actually want with him…

    20. Re: Grid girls

      The argument that if a person like his job, it can’t be anything wrong with that job, is so wrong.*
      Yes, do these, mainly girls, like their job, yes they probably do, but that dosen’t mean that it’s a job that should exist.

      If you look at F1 you see men driving and have the big roles in F1 (yes there are exceptions, but they are just that), and girls having jobs of the supporting roles. And the grid girls, doesn’t fill a purpose in that they have to be attractive models. As some have pointed out, they could just as well be little boys and girls from karting clubs instead. Which would make more sense to promote and build connections between young drivers and the elit. “One day I could be driving that car”.

      As a spectator you see the manly men driving these big machines, and the girls stand on the side looking on applauding and being eye candy and only appreciated by their looks, while the men are looked on and appreciated by their craft.

      Comments like “I don’t mind looking at them and if they want that it isn’t a problem”. Well there is, because in the bigger picture you build a view of girls should be on the side an being attractive for the sporty men (this bigger picture are already built and are exciting, and if you don’t see it you are a part of the problem).
      And if you say, “but hey they can just walk away if they don’t like it” you are a part of the problem, because you don’t grasp the quite obvious use of structure in society.

      Because through history we have learnt that men are leaders and women should be the supporter and catering for the men, in very easy wording.

      So if you can’t see that there is a problem with having grid girls, you don’t see the whole you are only looking at the small part, i.e. the job, the small puzzel pice not the finished motive.

      We do not live in an equal world that treats women and men and sees them on equal terms. If you argue against this you are wrong. We have come a long way, but not nearly as long as we should have, and grid girls are just one small thing. But a very easy thing to correct.

      Taking away the grid girls will not change how fast driver drive their cars or the how many spectators attend the GP.

      So why do we still have grid girls you might be wondering, because of history, structures and men like to look at beautiful women.

      “So I can’t look at beautiful women then? Am I misogynist then?” Answer: Maybe, it depends on when, how and if the women wants you to.
      “But the grid girl wants me took look at her so then it’s okey!” Answer: Sigh… you just stupid.

      *An Extreme Example (not comparing grid girls and this job) A guard at a camp whos job is to kill people with other religious views than the one in that country. The guard might not have problem with his job, he gets paid and so on. But that dosen’t mean that the job is okey. Beacuse killing people because of religion is, well, stupid. And I can say that as an atheist.

      1. -100

        Compressed you are saying “I don’t like it so it shouldn’t exist, i don’t care about the people whom have job and like their job”

        1. @ marchelh Nope, thats your interpretation and a false one as well. Please try again.

          I have nothing against the job, as a job. What I turn against is what that job contribute to the bigger picture, meaning structures in society.
          Regarding another reply to me from you: “All F1 racing drivers are men. lets ban racing drivers. Ban F1 because F1 is racist and should not exist.” I understand that you are exaggerating to make a point, but a porly one. I think men should compete in F1, and women as well. The fastest driver should be in the seat, external genitals or not. So no, don’t ban racing driver. But take away things that continue to build structures that women only should be there for the men to look at and that men are there to be admired by women.

          No man or woman should look at a sporting event and say I would like to do that, but I don’t feel welcome there.

          If we need someone to hold a number, lets use kids or contestent winners instead, who wear team gears and get a full day out of it.

          I thin all drivers can celebrate a win without being surrounded by a group of grid girls.

          If you can’t see this is a thing of the past, I would like to recommend you to join the year 2017, nearing 2018.

      2. “Yes, do these, mainly girls, like their job, yes they probably do”

        Did you just call the grid girls “mostly girls”? That’s the problem, the fear of offending people… it’s rampant in today’s culture, and it’s everything that is wrong with the world.

        1. @xcm the fear of offending people? I like how you twisted that to suit your view. I seem to offend a lot of people, by just saying that I think F1 should stop using women as objects and strive for a modern and welcome environment. That seems to offend a lot of people, how can they look at sport with out having attraktive women admire men a standing around as eye candy and manifesting old steroeoypes.

    21. On the grid girls thing… we’ve found a use for eSports. Local event/tournament at each race weekend… finishing positions places you on the F1 grid in replacement of grid girls, dressed in team gear you get to keep.

      1. Oh god, no. Have you looked at the people who take part in these competitions? Audiences would switch the channel just so they don’t have to look at these losers until the race starts.

    22. My wife has gotten increasingly into F1 over the past few years and we enjoy chatting teams, drivers tactics etc. As a relatively new fan I enjoy her fresh take on certain parts of F1 tradition. Regarding the grid girls, she finds them pretty cringey and doesn’t really see what their purpose is, often remarking “why are they just stood there!?”. She has a lot of respect for women in F1 who are increasingly playing their part towards the efforts of actually going racing… She particularly admires Susie Woolf and Claire Williams. I’m glad that my wife and I can enjoy F1 together, but would feel embarrassed on behalf of the sport if this sort of anachronism is a barrier to entry for anyone becoming a fan. Much better to fill the screen with more of the inspirational People involved in F1… There are lots of them!

    23. I’ll never not find it funny how outraged some people get whenever the grid girls discussion come up. The previous article (comment section to be more specific) on grid girls that Keith linked is some quality reading when you consider that, in a multibillion dollar worldwide sport, filled with all its highs and lows, people seem to get most flustered about a suggestion that scantily clad women standing around doing nothing mightn’t be the best marketing approach.
      I’m just surprised that we haven’t seen a “PC gone mad” quip, that’s usually mandatory in discussions like this!

      1. Won’t somebody think of the children!

    24. Ask the girls. End of.

      1. @tony
        Not end of, beacuse the girls probably like their job, that dosen’t mean it’s a job that should exist.

        1. So who’s going to decide what all these jobs are that ‘shouldn’t exist’?
          As a matter of interest what other jobs would make it on to your list of banned jobs?
          What’s the punishment going to be for someone found doing one of these ‘forbidden jobs’, several years in jail perhaps?
          A free country requires a relatively free market in both jobs offered and job applicants

          1. It isnt very free if only good looking women can apply is it?

          2. @ceevee it’s not up to one person to decide. I don’t think any job should be banned, thats your wording. I’m up for a free market, and in that free market I think a company, sport or so are not so out dated that thay want to use grid girls to promote something. In that free market they should say, hey the use of grid girls, what are we doing there, it’s out dated, it builds on old structure were men should be admire by women and women can’t drive, let us get in our time an set examples and be inviting for all, boys or girls.

            1. So in your words ‘its a job that shouldn’t exist’ but you don’t want the jobs to be banned!!
              I’m not quite sure what you’re pushing for here other than for everybody else to agree with your world view.
              Just because something has been around for some time doesn’t make it ‘out-dated’ if that were true then there would be market for antiques.
              Beauty, both male and female, is prized in the advertising industry, with the subtle hint that if you use/watch our product the glamour will rub off on you.
              Rather than target F1 you need to persuade the advertising industry the the use of non-beautiful models will help them sell their products.

            2. @ceevee
              Im pushing for my view as are you for your view, is that really that hard to grasp?

              Haha, I love how you try. Why would something been around for long be out dated? Of course not, a lot thing we have and use today are really old. And that you even try to use that as en argument more show that you haven’t really thought this through.

              So what makes it out dated? Well, very simple how we see women. The use of grid girls, among a lot of things (it’s more complex than just grid girls in F1, but I think you will have a hard time grasping that), contribute to the view that women are to be measured by their looks, and men admired for there work.

        2. Gosh yes you’re right Joachim. Its not important that these girls enjoy their job, that for a least one it was ‘the greatest day of their life’. The decision should be down to a hand wringing liberal to decide for them.

          1. @Tony Mansell I really hope they are enjoying their job, otherwise this would be even worse. But, I do think that the what the job represent and what signals it sends out is very important. So if we want someone holding a stick with a drivers number, why not you karting boys and girls, so that there is a real connection to the sport. Why does it have to be attractive women?

        3. Who are you to declare to someone that their job should not exist?

          1. @dbHenry It’s not. But as you, I’m free to declare my opinion. And I don’t want to ban any job, but I want that, in this case, F1 sees that using grid girls is an out dated thing, and if they want both boys and girls feel welcome and not build on old structure were women are only looked at as object I think they should use something else than grid girls. For example, boys and girls karting our local motorsports team or something. Why must it be attractive women with no real connection to the sport?

    25. As soon as I read the BBC story yesterday, I knew there would be a bit of a froth about grid girls here today. Many of the posted messages above make excellent points and I’ve been trying to write something clever and pithy in reply to some of them. @girts, @fer-no65, @maciek and many more.
      But here is a view from the other side.
      At a race this season, right at the end, there was a shot of the drivers ascending a long staircase that was lined with identically dressed grid girls all aplauding. My partner had just walked in (he doesn’t like racing much) and nodded at the girls on screen “What this? Are the drivers selecting one for now, one for later and one for the motor-home?” I didn’t reply. “Seriously, what are they for?” Then he walked out in disgust.
      I’m not going to suggest that if grid girls were *not* there, he would become a fan, but it exemplifies how excluded we feel.
      If I go to an event with grid girls (or cheerleaders), I am thinking “This is not for me, it’s for the other type. I should not be here.” The next thought is “What would they (the other people) do if they knew about me?” And then “How can I disguise myself and avoid trouble?”
      I feel intentionally excluded and vaguely threatened. Would those feelings disappear without grid girls? Not entirely; but it would help demonstrate that motorsports had taken a step away from cheap burlesque.

      1. Icecream is not for me but i dont need to disguise myself in a crowd of icecream lovers.

        You need to have a talk in your relationship if you get uneasy when a girl pops up on the screen and someone sees it.

        1. @rethla Your ice-cream comparison is inexact. Look up homophobia and queer-bashing.
          Read my comment again. I did not get uneasy with girls on screen. My partner was dismissive, asking rhetorically what their function was.

          1. Well you clearly have other problems than whats talked about here.

            1. I have a problem with homophobia – is that the ‘problem’ you mention?
              Or maybe it’s exclusion via sexual orientation – the assumption that all of the audience is sexually oriented in one direction. Is that the ‘problem’? @rethla

      2. @nickwyatt I often feel the same way. I do not believe that this is just about political correctness. For instance, my head turns for cute guys but I do not necessarily expect to see them at my workplace, definitely not in tight jeans! That said, recently I had a little crush on a colleague but he is like 55… The point is that people have different interests and different preferences. Also, not everything in life is about sexual attraction. Instead of pretending that ‘all of us just love these hot girls, don’t we?’ F1 should recognise these differences and try to make everyone feel welcome.

    26. I find the incongruity between this discussion regarding grid girls and Carmen Jorda’s idea of two separate series for men and women very interesting.

      On the one hand, Jorda (rightly) received flack for suggesting that women shouldn’t race in the same series as men. The idea being that women should be able to compete on an equal footing with men.

      This is all great.

      Then why are we still defending using women (and exclusively women) as decoration in motorsport?

      Either women should be equal in motorsport, in which case they shouldn’t exclusively be used for decorative purposes, or they shouldn’t be, in which case, grid girls should stay. Women will never be considered equal in motorsport when they are the ones used exclusively for decorative purposes.

      It was great seeing so many of the fans, racers, pundits alike stand up for women’s equality when it came to women and men racing together – where’s that all gone now?

      1. Carmen aint against equality she just have a different way of achieving it. Its really hard to say what way would have best effect but its an entierly different discussion if F1 should have exclusivly female models to promote F1 eventsor not.

    27. Interesting debate available on BBC podcast

      Fast forward to about 8 minutes for the beginning of the advertised content. It includes past and present “Grid Girls”, who unsurprisingly highlight that holding the number/brolly is only a part of what happens in their day at the races. The girl who does it right now actually works during the week for the tax office, loves motor racing and doing the promotion stuff. So there you are.

    28. I’m entirely on the side of keeping grid girls, because I have no issue with attractive people being used as ‘decoration’ providing they chose that line of work.

      More lengthy explanation of my position: As I understand, grid girls are usually ladies who work as promotional models, whose other jobs might be as varied as standing in a shopping centre next to a car, handing out flyers, attending trade shows, conferences or conventions, waitressing, dancing, cheerleading, and so on (I’m using a friend of mine as an example, as she does grid girl work, and the other things listed). Some models will be brand ambassadors as well, with enough knowledge of the product to answer questions and the like.

      Their function of these promotional models (whether male or female) is to do the same thing as the nice-looking people we see in a lot of TV adverts – to add a touch of glamour to the event, and to attract eyes to increase demand for whatever product it is. And it obviously works… if it didn’t, marketing folk would have stopped using attractive people ages ago.

      I equate ‘grid girl’ with ‘promotional model’, and view ‘promotional models’ the same way I view attractive advert actors. They’re essentially the same thing, serving the same purpose, just in different arenas. So, I’m struggling here. If I don’t care about attractive people being used for glamour-adding in other situations, why should I care about them being used in F1?

      My friend hasn’t been an F1 grid girl, but she does it for other motorsports and it’s near the top of her list of favourite types of work. So because I’m unable to muster up any sort of moral objection, I’m 100% in support of her (and the others in her line of work) being able to keep doing it…

      BUT… All that said, the ‘staircase/corridor clapping’ at the end makes me cringe too. That’s lame. So I’d have no problem if they got rid of that.

    29. Thrilled to have a Czech team in F2. Also really positively surprised with their partnership with Ferrari. A local fansite held a competition where fans had to guess which big F1 team did Charouz partner with. Almost everybody – including me – guessed Renault, perhaps because both teams were formerly called Lotus. I’m just a little conflicted about the lineup.

    30. Save the grid girls! 😭

    31. The issue of grid girls, as many have said, is split for me. But there’s one very important note people seem to have forgotten (though I admit I haven’t read every comment).

      On the one hand, I can understand why parading 20 girls out in front of each grid slot could be seen as “sexist”, but at the same time I don’t think it’s a major issue. No one is being forced to do it, and I think there is a slight element here of being seen as “anti-sexist” being the “in thing” at the moment. It’s like FOM/the FIA are saying “look how up with current trends we are”.

      The important point to note though, is the motorsport, F1 included, is the ONLY sport on the entire planet where men and women are not segregated at any level. I realise there are no female F1 drivers at the moment, but there is no rule in place to say there can’t be, and there are plenty in the wings and of course competing across other types of motorsport. In that respect, F1 and motorsport in general is probably the only sport on the planet that doesn’t have sexist rules running through its core. Perhaps that should be publicised a bit more.

    32. Great comment thread, this. A bunch of blokes pontificating about taking away the jobs of hundreds of women because we know what’s good for them better than they do themselves. Yeah, that sounds real empowering, that does. If they’re happy to do it – and, as far as I know, nobody’s being kidnapped off the street and forced on to the grid at gunpoint – who are we, or anyone else, to say they can’t?

      1. It’s not about the grid girls as persons, they probably super nice and having fun. It’s about what grid girls are sending for signals about how we see women and how we treat them. We have to look at the big picture. Using grid girls is an out dated form created by men for men. If we want F1, in this case, to be a place were everyone can feel welcome we can’t use this old structures were we look at girls as objects.

        To be clear, I think all of these women have choosen the job freely and are having fun. But using attractive women as eye candy we continue to reproduce the idea of women being objects for men to look at, (and also win by driving fast as real men does and only men can)

        1. Rather than putting words into the worlds mouth you should rephrase your first paragraph as
          ‘It’s about what grid girls are sending for signals about how I see women and how I treat them’

          1. @ceevee Offended much?

        2. “It’s not about the grid girls as persons”

          That’s coming through loud and clear.

    33. The geniuses at the FIA and Liberty are going to scrub F1 untill everthing is clean and safe and tidy and inoffensive to everyone. Unfortunatley for them, the precious little souls that find F1 (and other motorsports) to “edgy” aren’t watching F1 and never will. Meanwhile I’ll spend my money on something else. I think I’ll go see a MotoGP race next year instead of F1….

    34. Love the grid girls don’t follow WEC in anything without Lemons that series would be well and truly dead. This is political correctness rearing it’s sensorship head again. More grid girls is what’s needed Carmen Jorda should be one to really stick it to the pc brigade.

    35. I’ve been an F1 fan for over 50 years and LOVE many F1 traditions. However, times change and hopefully, at least some aspects of human life evolve. Grid girls have ZERO place in current F1 and our current culture that IS evolving toward greater respect for women. F1 is a sport that where the rules allow females to race. Having grid girls with women in the cars would a terrible anachronism. It has to end now. F1 will not only be OK without grid girls, it will be better for it.

      1. If a woman driver comes about she should have a grid boy same as any driver that publicly announces he Swings the other way. Grid girls should stay just to annoy the Pc brigade. Take the lycra off and replace with a halo inspired thonged bikini. Ricciardo and Hamilton have both advocated grid girls….good on them. Grid girls and v12’s please.

      2. Duncan Snowden
        17th December 2017, 0:51

        Ah, right. Respect for women. See, I remember when “respect” meant leaving people to decide what’s best for themselves and accepting their choices. Did I miss a memo?

    36. Michael Brown (@)
      15th December 2017, 21:02

      Lycra can stay in the 1970s and ’80s for me, I don’t want any of that tarty nonsense.

      “Need I remind you that it’s the current year?

      1. If we ban lycra what’s going to happen at the Tour De France and all major cycle events. That bloke from Silverstone is a plonker. Even the Arabs said nothing about it at their ever growing number of races and they normally require women to dress in big baggy black tents.

    37. Michael Brown (@)
      15th December 2017, 21:05

      Serious point, though: I’d give each circuit the choice if they want grid men or grid ladies. Or even people in costumes.

    38. People who use arguments – and I use that world very loosely – claiming that all this is about some PC feminist dictatorship and suddenly rise to the defence of a woman’s right to choose her employment, need to take a serious look in the mirror. It always amazes me how in the breadth of one sentence you manage to portray yourselves both as brimming with old school macho bravado and yet somehow helpless victims of political correctness all at once. It’s the same broken logic as when people who couldn’t give a flippin’ about poverty in their own backyard suddenly become social advocates for their beloved countrymen when time comes to house refugees from elsewhere or send aid overseas. At least be honest in your opinion. If you’re the real men you try to look like from behind a keyboard, at least just say: I need to see girls in spandex at races because I have no girlfriend and little hope of scoring one so it’s one of the few occasions left where I don’t have to look at porn to get my jollies. C’mon boys, show’em how it’s done like real men.

      1. The people that are arguing about the loss of employment opportunites are not being honest. But neither are you @Maciek.

        The Grid Girls are motorsport decoration. Like an Xmas ornament enhances the beauty of the tree. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s base and enjoyable on that level and that’s OK.

      2. @maciek

        These girls are pimped out by women bosses of model/glamour girl agencies. This isn’t an issue for F1 fans to solve.

        Also, having attended races myself. I can tell you most women in the crowds dress up/wear make-up to get themselves noticed. Low cut tops and short skirts are popular.

        The problem seems to be feminist supporting men dissaproving of attractive women being on show. What next, a dress code for women at F1 races? Then Burkas? Than it gets ironic.

    39. So someone think that is misogynists… and the solution is to cut the job of local models and totally erased their presence from the grid … O.o yeah sound like feminism..

    40. Couldn’t care less about grid girls, they can stay or go. I watch WRC, which has no such girls. But it seems to be an old F1 tradition, much like cheerleaders in American sports and ring girls in boxing, so it seems a bit strange that F1 is being targeted. Only concern is that those girls get paid to be on the grid, and it doesn’t seem like anyone has asked THEM what they think.

    41. The worst thing i hate, going into a male oriented forum and reading mens views on grid girls or womens rights. Ask any females, any females not oppressed by men, ie ones with strong liberated feminist views and iy is is a complete no brainer that grid girls should be cancelled in all motorsport, another step to equality.

      1. @kpcart

        So we should leave this decision to a tiny subset of females that fit your definition of liberated? Anything else that group should decide for me?

        You are a tool.

      2. thats definitely not a good idea, feminism… it’s about choice.. and those girls decided to get pay, they are models.. that’s what they do for living, local models working in f1 once a year.. the feminist suggestion is to eliminate this without considering the women’s opinion… That’s sexist and oppressive

        1. Well, that’s a bit like saying prostitution is a fine idea because the girls decide to do it . . .

    42. OK, so I don’t have an issue with grid girls (speaking as a girl!) but my problem here is with the hypocrisy. I’d rather be hearing more about about girls in the cockpit instead of just on the grid, and in leading management positions within the teams and the FIA. Grid Girl Debate is media happy veneer to avoid a rather bigger issue!

      1. +1 This is the most sensible response on this topic so far…..

    43. Whats next ?

      The good looking girls will allways be where the money (power) is… its the law of nature…

      It will never change….

    44. I have gone through the lot and I don’t think there is a single post from a woman demanding that grid girls should stay. I can’t find any post from a woman about anything and I’d rather hear their opinion before coming to a decision. Where are they all?

      1. I’m not bothered. It’s the same in boxing matches.

        Don’t want any more of the US style flame throwing entries for drivers.

    45. Am I right in saying the women are selected and employed by agencies? Then offered to events like F1 for a price?

      With these agencies usually being run by women, who’s brave enough to end this industry?

    46. The cameras don’t stay on grid girls very long. People who watch F1 on TV don’t see much of them. (Shrug.)

      Not all fans are men – lets balance the looks with some male models parading.

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