Bernie Ecclestone, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2017

Ecclestone criticises decision to drop grid girls

2018 F1 season

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Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has criticised the sport’s new owners for ending the practice of using grid girls at races.

“These girls were part of the show,” Ecclestone told The Sun newspaper. “Fans love the glamour.”

Grid girl shadow, Monza, 2017
F1 announces it will no longer use grid girls
A poll of F1 Fanatic readers conducted in 2015, when the World Endurance Championship stopped using grid girls, found a larger proportion of fans wanted F1 to do the same: 45% agreed “F1 should stop using grid girls” while 36% voted “F1 should not stop using grid girls”.

“You should be allowed to have grid girls because the drivers like them, the audience like them and no one cares,” Ecclestone said. “These girls were part of the show, part of the spectacle.”

Formula One has joined other sports in ceasing the practice of using women as decoration. Last month the Professional Darts Corporation announced it would no longer use ‘walk on girls’ at its events.

But Ecclestone said F1’s sponsors want to be associated with good-looking women.

“I can’t see how a good-looking girl standing with a driver and a number in front of a Formula One car can be offensive to anybody,” he said. “They are all nicely dressed I would think people like Rolex and Heineken wouldn’t have girls there who weren’t presentable.”

Ecclestone was recently named as one of the patrons of the Presidents Club, a charity which closed last week following allegations that hostesses were sexually harassed at men-only fundraising events.

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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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  • 89 comments on “Ecclestone criticises decision to drop grid girls”

    1. Alert! Old man says old things

      1. The old man has enough money to hire all unemployed grid girls.

      2. Speaking of old men, who I’d really like to hear from is Eddie Jordan. He’s acted pretty creepily on camera before, and although for all I know he’s all right and all, but still. THAT’s someone I’d like to hear on this.

        1. Maybe Eddie will be taking you to court.

      3. I wonder, did they ask him about this when they concacted him for his comments on being one of the prominents who used to frequent that “men only” party thing there was some scandal about in the UK press in the past couple of days?

        The one where many women who worked during those parties complained about having to “dress sexy” and being harassed and humiliated by the rich men at the party? Old men wanting women who they feel they can take advantage of around without punishment or attention.

        Yeah, that is exactly the reason why sports like F1, Darts, WEC and many others are going away from having scantily clad women there to be “eye candy”. Because they know that sooner or later, they will be under the same scrutiny as the bankers, politicians and rich men who organized and visited those kinds of “parties”.

        1. @bascb Knew I could rely on you to be the voice of reason. Too many misogynists in denial around…

        2. The fossil that is Bernie has been extricated to the museum, but still it speaks to the archaic, misogynistic practices of the age prior to the #metoo movement.

          As a fan of F1 since the 1960s I admit to never having looked forward to any grand prix on the off chance of seeing scantily clad ladies paraded around.

          I do look forward to more women being involved in the sport with the teams, media and even as drivers. It is not just a man’s sport and I believe not having grid girls will demonstrate that in a visible way by not objectifying women.

          1. Thank you, Bull. I’d like to hear Clair Williams comment on this topic.

            1. Me too. Especially since she essentially has the highest position of any woman in F1 today.

          2. @bullmello that just encapsulates this whole story perfectly – when you look at an F1 event you want to see women in roles that matter, not as eye candy. I wonder if Liberty are jumping for joy at all the press coverage this is getting – from a purely marketing perspective this whole story is solid gold; hopefully it makes more women think this sport isn’t a laughable disgrace.

            incidentally, i played darts last night and the topic of the walk-on girls was high on the agenda – needless to say most old men in pubs are furious but they don’t really know why…

    2. Did anyone seriously expect any better from Bernie? Comments like this show why he had to go! Attitudes like this belong in the past… much like the man himself

      1. Exactly @swh1386, the strange part is that on TV we get only very little airtime for the girls holding the numbers, because they either do an ad break before the race or focus on a grid walk like thing, then we have the anthem and most put in another ad break when the drivers are headed for the podium again.

        I hope that F1 brings in something more fun to replace this, something fans can be a part of.

      2. 100 percent agree with Beanie.

    3. “They are all nicely dressed I would think people like Rolex and Heineken wouldn’t have girls there who weren’t presentable.”

      Nice one Ecclestone – missing the point completely!

      The girls were nice to look at, they did add glamour, people did like them – but that doesn’t make it right. I liked the grid girls, but I am pleased to see them go. F1 is about cutting-edge modern tech, it is striving to find itself relevant in the modern age (KERS/ERS, etc) and having “eye-candy” girls who are there to look pretty for the guys really isn’t modern thinking.

      Ecclestone’s views have been out of touch for some time, that was clear when he tried to turn F1 into Mario Kart (random sprinklers on the track?! Bonkers idea).

      This is the right move and sends the right message. I would love to see more women in F1, but I’d like to see them as engineers, aerodynamicists, team managers, Pit-crew and drivers – not as ornaments.

      1. My God We have so many people painting themselves as the knights of righteousness and agitators of the new modern should be culture. These girls ACCEPTED the contract for this kind of job and it was their decision, not made while starting in a barrel of a gun. They also promoted themselves. But there will be always someone who knows better, so now they lost the lucrative job. You heard about free will?

        1. You must also feel sorry for all the German footsoldiers who lost their lucrative jobs after WW2.
          Sometimes there is a clear ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and almost anybody will see it.

          1. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
            1st February 2018, 12:11

            Excuse me, but your parallel is totally out of place and has no actual value in the discussion.

          2. Yeah, because risking your life for an ideology you possibly do not share forced by the government into the draft is exactly the same as people signing a contract protected by many many laws. Again, the only way this would be ever comparable is if some men had to handpick these girls from their families because they were beautiful and then forced to wear whatever and put on the grid and if they didn’t comply they’d get shot.

            In short, sometimes there’s a clear right or wrong, like bringing in soldiers of the WWII into this discussion is a clear wrong. And there was nothing wrong with grid girls apart what some minority like to make out of it out of self righteousness and several ridiculous left-sided political line of thought.

            1. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
              1st February 2018, 12:14

              +1 Couldn’t formulate it better.

          3. Sorry Egonovi, but that is completely amiss. Bringing in soldiers fighting in WW2 is so desperate. That really does not have a place in a discussion about having grid girls or not, as @flatsix rightly points out..

            While many of us feels that the job is a bad “tradition” left over from the times where Bernie was still racing cars himself, the job itself is one these models all take on of their own choosing, either to get further in modelling, to earn some money towards their studying, because it enables them to get on/close to the grid, or just to make a living.

        2. What next
          F1 drivers banned from driving as it’s dangerous?

          There is a limit as to how far you can go with self righteousness.
          I think this is a step too far. I don’t see how consenting adults promoting the sport can be considered being exploited. It’s their choice. If anything the clothing could be more conservative but that’s my choice.

          Can they now ban fashion catwalks and bikinis on beaches or in public pools too.

          1. I had absolutely no idea this website was so full of leftwing, Social Justice Warrior, ‘progressives’.

            My GOD! Why don’t you lot of metrosexual male feminists grow a pair!

            1. Mark in Florida
              3rd February 2018, 16:21

              Spot on. A whole lot of ball less wonders at work. Be self righteous for yourself not others who are simply trying to work and make a little money. They were blessed with good looks and are able to profit from it. It seems as though ordinary people are trying to eliminate any ability of these girls to profit at all from their looks. Stop hating, your making the world a less beautiful place.

    4. His opinions are about as interesting as those of Red Bull representatives, utterly predictable. I’m sure I could fabricate a convincing Ecclestone interview by simply taking the most reactionary and capitalist stance towards current talking points.

    5. Just wondering if he is talking about the same fans, who do not get the social media but buy Rolex watches and love double points and Putin.

      1. Probably @girts. Those are the men that might not be savy enough with a computer to find pictures of girls to look at so they enjoy having it on their TV screens (or can feel up live, when they pay the exhorbitant VIP money to be on the grid)

        1. @bascb Yup, that is what I thought about as well – it is now easier than ever to find pictures or videos of whatever girls or boys one prefers. Beauty and sex are available almost everywhere (which was not the case when grid girls became part of F1 many years ago) so complaints about ‘PC gone mad’ seem a little weird to me.

    6. Of course you would Bernie…

    7. Whilst I support the decision to stop the use of grid girls and the reasoning behind it, it’s disappointing to see Keith use a Bernie quote as the first article representing the side of the fence opposed to the change (since the announcement was made).

      In the interests of a fair, balanced debate, I’d rather read about the viewpoints from those directly affected such as Rebecca Cooper (as linked by @macca in the round up). The tweet by @aayushdabas in the round up only vaguely touches on the opposing view. I understand Bernie is still a historic figure in the F1 world but the endless drivel he spouts does nothing to serve either side of the argument and confirms what we already know about him.

    8. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
      1st February 2018, 11:57

      Fair point, Bernie.
      I think this whole affair is a perfect example of schizophrenia of modern society. There are social justice warriors who battle against “objectivization” and “sexualization” of women and yet the same people demand a natural tolerance to so-called open relationships and frivolous behaviour in one’s sexual life, which are far more visible examples of “sexualization”. But in the end, just a bunch of people who tell others what to think, if you really think about it.

    9. I am really sorry for the grid girls, I am with Bernie on this one. I am sorry to see the heavy opinion on this side in favor of banning them. Great job guys and feministas, a good earning opportunity lost for women, and even more bad, a life style opportunity gone for women who liked or may even have loved that kind of a job… And bad for me that I cannot enjoy their beauty anymore along motorsport. The world is going grey and boring.. We should stop painting cars in cool colors btw.. That would be the next step. Since noone likes to enjoy beauty anymore anyway.

      You can be any made up word in an infinite amount of gender, but you cannot be a grid girl. That is somehow not “right”.

      1. @skylien poor girls will lose their jobs and now have to try men-only professions like engineering, science or entrepreneurship.

        1. @lubhz
          I am not sure what your point is.

          – No they don’t have to, they just got one opportunity less because of selfrightious SJWs
          – Women aren’t a homogenious blob, who all have the same preferences. Some like this others that.. Forcing them into one direction is therefore hardly good for women as a whole nor for the specific individuals who got told, you must not like what you like.
          – What is “men-only” only supposed to mean hear?. Anyone can do those. As far as I know there is no law against women in engineering, science or enterpreneurship. But again maybe some might not like that kind of a job..

        2. Have you ever considered that:
          1) They might not have any interest in engineering or science?
          2) Not everyone is cut out for those kinds of jobs, male or female.

      2. a good earning opportunity lost for women

        Exactly.

        …and nobody asked THEM.

        What happened is that women were forbidden to do a thing they wanted to do. They were treated as worse human beings who are not agents of their own actions and deprived them of that agency. That’s as anti-women as can be.

    10. Glad you’re gone Bernie.

      Just an outdated guy in a modern world.

    11. I can’t believe it. After all these years I’m actually agreeing with Bernie Ecclestones point of view.

      On a side note, I think they need to ban F1 drivers. Wearing sunglasses, looking all macho and daredevilsh sends the wrong impression to the youth. It definitely isn’t ‘modern thinking’. It’s a pre historic, survival of the fittest, alpha male syndrome that the current generation of males need to move on from.

      1. To be honest, the official statement of F1 (“this custom is clearly at odds with modern day societal norms”) is so vague that it indeed leaves room for all kinds of interpretations – women are now not allowed to be beautiful, men cannot be heterosexual anymore, we all will wake up in a postgender society in no time etc. Not sure if that was done intentionally ‘to spice up the show’ during the winter break or if it is just a typical example of the modern corporate lexicon.

    12. I haven’t expressed my opinion on this, and I think I haven’t read something similar to what I think about it either.

      You should be allowed to have grid girls because the drivers like them, the audience like them and no one cares

      Ecclestone touches a bit of what I think about the matter. No one cares! And If no one cares, if the practice doesn’t add anything, regardless if they are men or women, what is the point of having it? None, so there shouldn’t be grid girls, that is my honest opinion, it is based on a different point of view, but it is that simple for me. Sorry I guess.

    13. “Ecclestone criticises decision to drop grid girls” at least now we can be sure it was the right thing to do. :)

    14. Jonathan Parkin
      1st February 2018, 13:00

      I have a opinion on both sides of the fence. I didn’t mind a smart grid girl – the Austrian GP one year had their girls in a very nice dress that was a suitable length, but most grid girl uniforms are on the skimpy side which I don’t particularly like. However I would like to ask why the practice started in the first place. All grid girls held a number on a pole presumably for a reason. I’m just curious what that was

      1. Jonathan Parkin, There is an ESPN article about the use of grid girls that point out that the use of grid girls is a comparatively modern custom, having been introduced at the tail end of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Go back to footage of races from the early 1980’s, and you will see that there were no grid girls at all – the only people on the grid were the mechanics, drivers and a few members of the press.

        Grid girls really came in towards the end of the 1980’s and early 1990’s when figures such as Bernie wanted to “sex up” the image of the sport, leading to the use of models to hold up the signs (as well as opening up the grid to celebrity figures). It was really a publicity stunt by FOM, and also by some of the teams to a certain extent as well – Eddie Jordan, for example, used the model Jordan (aka Katie Price) as a grid girl to garner cheap headlines in that era.

        Quite a few of the figures here who are complaining seem to be those who started following F1 in the 1990’s and are perhaps under the mistaken impression that grid girls were always on the grid, rather than realising that they were only added to the sport a few years before they began watching it.

        1. So grid girls aren’t part of F1’s DNA? LOL

        2. Maybe they weren’t on the grid but girls came up and kissed the race winner and gave him a wreath of flowers and posed with him for photographs since long before the 80s. Then they were added to the grid also.

    15. This article is heavily loaded against Ecclestone. The author’s clearly feminist attitude is brought to the surface.
      I’m with Ecclestone on this one. There is ONLY ONE REAL REASON why any man doesn’t appreciate the sight of scantily clad and attractive women, and we ALL KNOW what that reason is…

      1. There is ONLY ONE REAL REASON why any man doesn’t appreciate the sight of scantily clad and attractive women, and we ALL KNOW what that reason is…

        And your comment shows EXACTLY why this should have been dropped years ago.

        As a father to a young girl I guarantee there are other reasons to object to the objectification and stereotyping of women in ANY field than those you clumsily allude to.

        (Apologies for double post)

        1. So you’re saying that government and regulation (in this case the FIA of F1 governing body) should compensate for a father’s bad parenting which may contribute to leading a girl to choose to become a gird girl as opposed to a doctor or a lawyer. You’re saying that because you’re afraid that you won’t be able to raise your girl the right way, that some other external entity should do what you were either to inept or to lazy to do yourself.

          1. I’m saying nothing of the sort.

            However, it’s interesting that you think only bad parenting could result in a woman wanting to be a grid girl. If that’s true we disagree again, but it says things about your opinions of the choices made by grid girls…

            If my daughter decides to be a grid girl (or similar now that that option is apparently denied her) that’s her choice – but I feel it should not have been her only role model within F1. So until there’s a reasonable percentage of female F1 team leaders/engineers/drivers it’s a little to 1950s for my taste.

            Bernie disagrees… And I’m ok with that.

            1. Regarding this comment, I never suggested that a grid girl is an undesirable occupation for a girl. YOU DID.

              Regarding your other comment down below, wanting to keep grid girls is not due to a reactionary political ideology, but rather a commercial decision. Also, there is nothing ideological but rather everything natural and wholesome about the biological stimulus that a male experiences when seeing a scantily clad attractive lady. Why not reap a commercial benefit from it?

            2. a father’s bad parenting which may contribute to leading a girl to choose to become a gird girl as opposed to a doctor or a lawyer.

              I never suggested that a grid girl is an undesirable occupation for a girl. YOU DID.

              You kinna did…. And if you’re honest you’ll see that I actually acknowledged that if my daughter choose it I’d be ok with it ;)

              Also, there is nothing ideological but rather everything natural and wholesome about the biological stimulus that a male experiences when seeing a scantily clad attractive lady. Why not reap a commercial benefit from it?

              First off. Thanks for helping my arguments about objectifying women.

              Secondly, how much (roughly) do you think these girls are paid? I’ve no idea personally – but I’m guessing the long term effect on their earnings is minor. Your concern for their earnings seems…. less than genuine.

              Thirdly, I’m sure the biological stimuli you’re suggesting they commercialize could be even better realised in other businesses or websites. Not sure it’s got much to do with a modern sporting event though.

              Even darts agrees now…. just boxing left?

            3. Secondly, how much (roughly) do you think these girls are paid? I’ve no idea personally – but I’m guessing the long term effect on their earnings is minor. Your concern for their earnings seems…. less than genuine.

              I’m not concerned about the earnings of the gird girls, I was defending Bernie’s view that grid girls are good for F1 as a business (sponsors). If a part of these earnings go to the girls, great! They’ve obviously invested time and money in looking attractive, it’s only right that they get paid.

              Thirdly, I’m sure the biological stimuli you’re suggesting they commercialize could be even better realised in other businesses or websites. Not sure it’s got much to do with a modern sporting event though.

              Why not? Sport is the exhibition of one’s athletic prowess and aggressiveness over his or her competitors. Sport is DEEPLY rooted in biology. The urge to compete against one another is nothing if not a biological urge. The biological stimulus provided by grid girls is totally pertinent to this environment. How can you not see this?

            4. I was defending Bernie’s view that grid girls are good for F1 as a business (sponsors).

              Not sure there’s any data to back up that assertion. It’s a viewpoint that is increasingly outdated in the advertising approaches of most manufacturers. Bear in mind that cigarette sponsorship was also good business for F1, but also something that was dropped in line with changes in public acceptance of smoking.

              I’m not concerned about the earnings of the gird girls

              I’ll just leave that there…. it’s honest at least. Others have tried to argue that it’s a basis for opposing the ban on grid girls.

              The biological stimulus provided by grid girls is totally pertinent to this environment.

              Almost no other sports attempt this justification and F1 is possibly the least “biological” sport you could choose as an example. It is, however, almost the only remaining sport that has such a skewed gender bias in its competitors.

              Your argument also only holds if F1 is meant to be enjoyed exclusively by (hetero) males over the age of 12(ish). Once you accept that there are other target audiences out there, then a re-evaluation is appropriate.

              TL;DR: Gender inequality is becoming as unacceptable in society in general as smoking was 10-20 years ago. Individuals may complain about infringements to their liberties, but it’s getting harder to say “there’s no harm here, let’s just continue”. This is a good thing.

              How can you not see this?

            5. It is, however, almost the only remaining sport that has such a skewed gender bias in its competitors.

              And why do you think it’s so skewed? Because men are naturally more gifted for F1, and 90% of sports out there. It’s more simple than you think: men produce more of the hormones needed to be competitive, aggressive, and performant in nearly all sports. The only way for women to approach a man’s level of competitiveness in 90% of sports, F1 included, is to take exogenous male hormones. This of course would totally work in finally bringing equality in sports. Is this what you want to happen? For the sake of “equality”?

              In conclusion, in a sport like F1, the men do the competing and the girls, who are unable to compete at their level, just look pretty next to them and act as the “prize” (figuratively speaking of course). This is just nature. There’s nothing wrong or evil about it, whereas there are plenty of things wrong with trying to stifle and suppress the natural ways of life and the rituals (sports) that derive from them.

            6. Somebody actually bothered to ask the grid girls what they think. The answer was obvious:

              http://www.planetf1.com/news/grid-girls-hit-back-after-getting-the-axe/

            7. And why do you think it’s so skewed? Because men are naturally more gifted for F1

              This (and the remainder of your misogynistic diatribe) has no basis in fact. The fact that men are over represented in F1 can just as equally be explained by lack of opportunities for women. Until data is available it’s merely a polemic statement.

              In conclusion, in a sport like F1, the men do the competing and the girls, who are unable to compete at their level, just look pretty next to them and act as the “prize” (figuratively speaking)

              A Neanderthal attitude (even when hedged). It’s simple. Women are people. Not objects or prizes.

              This is just nature. There’s nothing wrong or evil about it, whereas there are plenty of things wrong with trying to stifle and suppress the natural ways of life.

              Society, morals and common decency lift mankind out of nature’s “red in tooth and claw”.
              While it may be “natural” there is little civilized about your attitude.
              Right, wrong and evil are not terms that have any meaning outside human society – which is a construct specifically developed to overcome nature.

              Stifling natural phenomena include curing colds, caring for the elderly and charitable donations to the starving. By your perverse logic these are wrong too. Personally I feel that deliberately failing to address these “natural phenomena” is a quintessential definition of evil.

            8. Somebody actually bothered to ask the grid girls what they think. The answer was obvious:

              And Suzie Wolff disagrees. However, if you read above my statements have all been in favour of their right to choose.

              My objection is to the attitude expressed by a subset of reactionaries terrified of change.

          2. @marciare-o-marcire You’re aware that the FIA have done nothing of the sort? That this is a decision taken by the commercial rights holder, FOM?

            I also suggest that you keep your misogynistic and homophobic views to yourself. Failing that I don’t think this site is an appropriate place for you.

            1. it was a typing error, what I meant to write was FIA “OR” F1 governing body, because I wasn’t actually sure which band of lunatics made the decision to scrap grid girls. It makes no difference who made the decision. It’s a bad one, it’s boring, and unnatural… kinda sounds like I’m talking about leftist political ideology in general.

      2. If you are thinking about being homosexual, this is hitting a low which I didn’t think that forum would ever hit. I hope you reconsider.

        1. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
          1st February 2018, 14:09

          I thought he meant bigoted ideologue, which is perfectly ok and fitting.

          1. Getting rid of grid girls is ideology. There’s nothing ideological about keeping them.

            1. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
              1st February 2018, 14:26

              Yes, that’s exactly what I hinted at.

            2. Getting rid of grid girls is ideology. There’s nothing ideological about keeping them.

              Disagree. Everything is ideological. I think I could argue reasonably convincingly that keeping them (based on your first post in this thread) is sexist and that your argument for not removing them is homophobic.

              “A reactionary is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics (discipline, respect for authority, etc.) that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society.”

              Reactionary – Wikipedia

    16. Perhaps the grid girls/models should form a union! If you look at it from a pure employment perspective, thats a whole bunch of girls who’ve just lost some of their income.

      I’m not fussed with this, I never bothered about the grid girls anyway.

      This move is in keeping with today’s world, and it appears to have made everyone except Bernie happy. I can live with that.

      1. @jaymenon10

        Perhaps the grid girls/models should form a union! If you look at it from a pure employment perspective, thats a whole bunch of girls who’ve just lost some of their income.

        Erm, no. I don’t think grid girls ever had serial contracts with F1 – they were hired for single jobs by subcontracted service providers.

        The closest parallel to that would be pizza. Imagine F1 being a medium-sized company that used to order pizza for their monthly strategy discussion. One day, the company decides to discontinue that practice, because times are changing, and younger employees have mixed feelings about the message the cheap and immediate availability of pizza conveys to their children (bear with me).
        Now, what does this mean for the subcontracted pizza delivery personnel? Granted, they lose a regular source of income. But are they by any means entitled to make money from that one company? Well, no. There is no connection between that company and their profession, apart from the company occasionally using their service.
        Not even the wackiest communist dictatorship would share your perspective on that matter.

      1. Only Bernie who can saves F1 from Liberty..(sarcasm)

      2. @jerejj, so, Bernie spent years acting in a way that many complained has hollowed out the sport, created major disparities in payment structure that gave disproportionately high payments to a select few teams that were his allies, supported voting structures that gave undue influence to a small cartel of teams, signed up for races in unpopular destinations that were criticised for being a showcase for despots, been accused of bribery, fraud and corruption, and I believe even accused of helping support the South African apartheid government (being accused of helping the South African government evade sanctions by using FOM to ship in goods – although I believe that a number of teams were also accused of taking a cut themselves).

        To many, including yourself in previous posts, he has despoiled, degraded and damaged the sport with rapacious greed, reckless management and a myopic focus on power that many feel has left the sport with a precarious future – yet now, after years of criticising him, Bernie is apparently the saviour of the sport because he promises you something that you seem to have not cared a jot about until now? That seems like a spectacularly self destructive attitude.

    17. Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

      Emphasis on ‘Former’…

    18. WeatherManNX01
      1st February 2018, 16:04

      Once again, someone desperate for clicks goes and talks to a crazy old man whose incendiary opinions are now irrelevant to the F1 community at large.

      1. He’s not desperate for clicks, he doesn’t care for social media or that sort of garbage. You’re probably much more desperate for virtual attention than he is.

        1. Oh nevermind, I thought you were talking about Bernie being desperate for clicks.

    19. Isn’t it interesting that everyone and their dog is spouting an opinion on this issue, but no one has bothered to ask the people involved – the grid girls themselves what they think.

      Here is a piece by one of them – https://www.facebook.com/Hannah.Louise.06/posts/10159795795920012

    20. I really don’t understand you guys. Celebrating the banning of grid girls as it’s some kind of victory for women’s rights in the “modern world” as many of you put it? You can justify anything by saying what year it is.

      What you’re really doing is undermining these girls who chose to do it. I know a former grid girl (not an F1 grid girl admittedly); they’re not subject to a man’s whim, forced to do it, or a victim of the “patriarchy”. They enjoy it. And it’s enjoyable for many people to watch. Liberty Media have effectively fired these women based on THEIR perception of what’s now socially acceptable. So who are the losers here?

      Hint: it’s not men.

    21. As someone whom considers life pretty boring without attractive women to share it with, I can still categorically state that I’ve never in my entire male life looked at an F1 grid girl in a demeaning manner.. and yet today I’m offended that they’ve removed them! To remove free-willed beauty for the sake of political righteousness… sigh. The world is going to be a terribly boring place at some stage… and F1 is leading the charge.

    22. Most people on this site do not reflect the wider F1 audience, they are heterophobic. Many self congratulating types, self proclaimed moral compases for all F1 fans. Most F1 fanatic people hate Ferrari and pretty girls hmm. Soon you will want John Lennons Imagine played before every race, ban burger vans as meat is cruel.

    23. The ramblings of this man are not even worth of our attention. I am disappointed that this got promoted to a featured article here. His opinion, always politically coloured and predictably against everything Liberty does, has lost all relevance.

      1. @br444m
        That’s usually the case, but he’s spot on here. Political correctness isn’t necessarily moral correctness. Grid girls aren’t forced or enslaved to come there and stand. They’re willing to be there and add colour. So no idea of exploitation can be brought into here. This is just some cheap move to pacify feminists.

        There are women who like to flaunt their style and good looks, and there are those who don’t. It’s the former that end up being models and grid girls. It’s their choice. No one coerces them.

        I believe in respecting women and am strongly against gender-based discrimination. But having grid girls does not in any way disrespect or discriminate women. There can be grid guys too. Let Liberty try grid guys along with grid girls. But the idea that having grid girls is a means of exploiting women is convoluted and hypocritical.

        1. @pt I do not agree with you.

          The event of grid girls sends a strong message that this sport is primarily for men to enjoy and participate in. F1 has the potential to be enjoyed in a similar fashion by men and women. Right now it’s the men that drive and the women that can wave at them before and after the action.

          This does not fit in with 21st century views of gender equality at all.

          1. ‘This does not fit in with 21st century views of gender equality at all.’

            Would you like Liberty to reserve 50% of the cars on the grid for women drivers?
            Perhaps you’d like 50% of the mechanics and engineers to be female?
            I’m all for equality but not for quotas or banning something just because somebody, somewhere views it as ‘demeaning’ to women.

            Nobody was forcing the girls at gunpoint, what other women’s jobs are now in the line of fire all in the name of political correctness.

    24. As a risk of being called a dinosaur, in the context of the girls being there to highlight a team or product, I haven’t heard an alternative being mentioned….and also what about the pop stars..models..tennis players..film star females who are on the grid, walking up and down, dressed usually in less than the grid girls….will they be off as well Liberty??? Somehow I doubt it

    25. Ive actually changed my mind with this. I think its a shame they’ll be no grid girls. On the basis of employment and earning a living. I would like to hear more from woman on this site to see what they think of it? I was all for not having grid girls, but when you really think of it, im sure there would be woman out there who would love to be a part of F1 and the whole spectacle.

      1. As a female F1 fan (since the mid 80’s) I support the grid girls in their choice to work in that role just as much as I support female engineers, strategists, pit crew or whichever role, if that is the choice they make. People should do whatever job they enjoy & makes them happy (providing the opportunity is there of course). If I had their looks I’d jump at the chance of getting closer to the action of a Formula 1 weekend.
        Regarding the PC brigade, my personal opinion is that the world has become too PC nowadays & it seems that no matter what you do someone somewhere will always manage to be offended in some way.

    26. I only clicked on this article to say STOP REPORTING THINGS BERNIE SAYS.

      But then I noticed a 2nd problem. He said it to The Sun.

      Please stop reporting what Bernie thinks. Relevance = 0.

    27. I’m with Bernie on this one. One of the most interesting aspects of the Mexican Grand Prix grid last year was the grid girls dressed in an elaborate and attractive green costume, and also the many Day of the Dead costumes that were roaming around. It actually gives out a positive sign that motor racing is colorful, attractive and is as vibrant as life itself.

      And with this move, along with delayed race timings, Liberty is only messing things up.

    28. Bernie is right.
      Damn! It hurt to say that!

    29. Another typical F1 decision, fiddling with minor things that don’t matter much whilst ignoring the herd of elephants in the room.
      I’m agnostic on the ‘grid girls’ issue. As long as they are doing it by choice I don’t see that it is the business of anybody else to stop them.

    30. everything has to come to an end at some point. F1, the sport I used to love is gone and never coming back. It’s heart has been ripped out by a new generation of neoliberal fanatics suffering from some sort of disorder to overanalyse, overthink, over-everything!

      I suggest you introduce speed cameras, traffic lights, police checks and any other sick stuff you can think of. People are going too far with everything, killing the beauty of being spontaneous. This is not going to end well, not just in F1 but other areas as well.

      Good luck. The dark ages have descended upon us once again.

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