Grid, Silverstone, 2017

Grid girls had to go, says Silverstone boss

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle backs F1’s decision to stop using grid girls.

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Comment of the day

I make no apologies for selecting today’s comment, in response to F1’s announcement it will not use grid girls any more, because it perfectly encapsulates why I support the change:

Good. When I watch F1 with my daughter, I want her to aspire to be in the car, or an engineer, team leader, or in fact any productive member of a team. Not just to stand around looking pretty.
@Mattb

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  • 57 comments on “Grid girls had to go, says Silverstone boss”

      1. It’s good to see some of the grid girls speaking up about losing their jobs. It must be hard them at the moment as they see so many people celebrating the decision to axe them.

        If F1 did away with tyre changes I doubt the mechanics would appreciate it if fans just said ‘they’ll find other jobs, they’re only there based on their reaction time ‘.

        1. Just to add to that comment, I think in terms of equality, which I assume was the aim over anything like costs, grid boys (grid guys?) would have been a step forward whereas this seems like a step back.

          If I had ambitions to be a grid girl or was one I wouldn’t be enjoying this round up and being told it was a worthless job.

      2. Surely the solution is simple – have a 50/50 mix of men and women doing the job?

        1. I thought that might be a solution, but there’s a big difference between scantily clad women and scantily clad men being used as advertising hoardings. there’s a weight of history of gender politics you have to consider. particularly in a male dominated sport, where the main protagonists are all men. also, i would wager most organisers would have conveniently forgotten it was meant to be a 50/50 split, and you’d only see the women.

          and the main reason for getting rid of it – because it’s seedy and gross – would still exist if it were men or women being objectified.

          1. Probably a debate for another place @frood19 but is it any more gross and seedy to admire someone for their looks as opposed to their physical abilities?

            Admittedly on the starting grid of a race probably yes but I expect the grid girls would disagree and say you can do both.

            1. @glynh it’s a complex debate, but in the case of the grid girls they were sexualised objects. sex sells, sex makes you turn your head, sex as a marketing tool is demeaning to the target audience and the person whose sex is being used. it’s vapid, but it is also constantly, subconsciously reinforcing the idea that women are objects. there doesn’t seem to be much nuance to how they were employed. the argument that they simply look nice is totally flawed. if that were the case, they could have some nice watercolours or some photos of classic cars – that would line the corridor to the podium in an appropriate way.

              i don’t know exactly why Liberty have taken this decision, but if it was purely about the image that having grid girls portrayed then i am happy with it.

            2. @frood19

              The argument that they simply look nice is totally flawed. if that were the case, they could have some nice watercolours or some photos of classic cars – that would line the corridor to the podium in an appropriate way.

              Actually…can we have this please?

        2. If I made a comment about not wanting my child to grow up being a cleaner or a postal worker, I’d likely be labelled a snob and told not to look down at a person just because of their job. I find it odd that the same attitude doesn’t extend to people who work in modelling who are reasonably high achievers, but there is this resentment towards them that the achievement isn’t earned, that they’re just privileged.

          An engineer, driver or a manager has to also have been privileged to be born with the right hereditary traits to be intelligent enough and have a suitable temperament to excel in those fields as well as the hard work needed to succeed. And guess what, someone revered for their physical appearance as well as winning the genetic lottery, also works damned hard to look how they look. Chris Hemsworth doesn’t look like Thor by sitting on the couch eating doughnuts.

          The thing I’ve liked least about the whole grid girl and the darts walk on girls saga isn’t that they’re gone, I tune in for car racing. It’s this patronising assumption that those girls are victims of oppression and need to be protected from exploitation and that somehow certain peoples choice to take offence earns them power.

          I’ll be honest I’ve always been a little awkward at car shows and events with scantily clad ladies dotted around them, to me it feels out of place and a little embarrassing that the perception is that’s what guys want. But that’s my issue, the ladies doing the work seem to universally love their jobs, and if there wasn’t enough value in their being there then we’d see them disappear without all the political overtones surrounding the departure.

          1. **Oops, didn’t mean this to be a reply**

        3. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
          1st February 2018, 12:06

          Has there ever been a demand for “grid boys” or however you call them? No? I honestly don’t see a point with forced equality in this matter.

        4. If grid boys were introduced should be at drivers discretion. Women are much better looking than men so grid girls were the best choice.

    1. The death of Ron Walker shows that motorsport has a long way to go to gain traction in Australia. He would be one of the most influential figures in Australian sport for what he has done for motorsport and F1 in this country, but I had to find out of his death from a UK website that has a tweet from DR.

      RIP Ron, what you have done for motorsport fans in this country will never be forgotten. You will be missed.

      1. No you didn’t, it was reported yesterday on ABC news.

      2. Yeah, it was all over the radio at 6am yesterday when I was driving to work. I’m in Melbourne so perhaps other states were different. Eddie McGuire had a lot of fascinating stories about him.

        Also regarding the COD, I remember saying something similar back when you had the poll on the subject. My then 6yo daughter asked me what the grid girls do (as we were watching a race).

    2. Grid girls ? really, is this such a big deal, I don’t care one way or the other, they were rarely seen on the grid during TV coverage because the cameras were focused on the interviewer, the interviewy or Bernie/Despot/Celeb. For the organizers this is money saved, for the Grid-girls it’s money and promotional opportunity lost, especially if they want to be at the races as they will now have to pay admission and not get so close to the action. But by God we can all bask in our politically correct contentment knowing that girls will need more than just good looks to get on the grid of an F1 event.

      1. That was a tiny part of their jobs, they’ll still be there working, but not having to hold a pole or clap the winners. That you didn’t know there was a lot more to their job than something that could be done by a pot plant was pretty much the problem, right, because now when the camera shows them, you’ll see them doing a skilled job instead

        1. I’ll look forward to that, but doubt I’ll ever see it on tv.

      2. Grid girls was the only good thing that was kept from the past and now it’s gone…. Bloody political correctness. Good that there are other proper racing series when tradition is still respected.

        1. Never mind that!

          With the news that a rumored species of Dinosaur has been confirmed by the discovery of a pristine fossil, found in the forums of F1 & Motorports blog http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk.

          1. A coprolite I presume.

    3. One of our neighbours daughters has been a grid girl at many races including F1 & she is very upset about F1’s decision, Not in terms of lost revenue but because she absolutely loved doing it & feel’s that something she loved doing has been taken away just because others got offended on her (And other grid girls) behalf.

      She loved been in the paddock, The pits & on the grid…. She loved getting all dressed up, Hanging out with the other girls, Taking to them & making friends, Not just with the other girls but also other people in the pits & paddock that she gets to talk to including some of the drivers.

      She loved it & is gutted that she won’t be on the grid at Silverstone this year.

      1. There will still be plenty of women on the grid, and they will be there doing their job. I’m sure she has the talent and ability to snag many of those jobs in the next 6 months or so, and if not, another talented person will

        1. Get real Will Jones, do you really think that removing grid girls is actually going to lead to an increase of women becoming engineers or technicians or some other “respected” role in F1? That isn’t how it works.

      2. If they aren’t worried about the lost revenue but just love to be standing there and be pretty, then you can tell your neighbour’s daughters to go to Silverstone and dress up as they prefer and parade next to the ticket office. They can even hold an umbrella or flagpole, and applaud the passer-bys.
        All win: they get their kick, some of the dinosaur fans (above) get their kick, and FOM is guilt free.

        1. This.

          Selling sex this prominently detracts from and devaluates the sport. It also sends a strong message that this sport is primarily for men to enjoy and participate in.

          For the grid girls: there is a hugely profitable industry that is primarily focussed on selling sex. I’m sure there are plenty of opportunities for you there.

      3. It’s not getting offended on the grid girls’ behalf, it’s about changing the message of the role of women in F1 and motorsport.

        A young girl watching F1 will have thought her only chance of being involved is by getting half naked and standing around as “eye candy”. Yes, it’s unfortunate that those that enjoyed doing it are now without the work, but the message it sent out is what matters and that’s what needed to change.

        1. Getting rid of grid girls does not put a woman in an F1 cockpit.

    4. No, grid girls didn’t. Sorry. It’s just social hegemony of specific groups and I don’t agree with their agenda.

      Now, watch me get trolled as a mysogynist, anti liberal colonial white bigoted male.

      And u don’t even know me.

    5. I agree with Andy Cowell regarding the topic of the Racer-article.

    6. To the comment of the day:
      If you’re living in 2018 and can’t find any women to hold in high esteem to share with young girls without getting rid of the grid girls I feel that says more about you than anything else.
      This is reactionary nonsense. That we’re now to a point where you can only be proud of your daughter if she becomes an engineer and disappointment if she’s a model is rather disgusting.
      The elephant in the room of course is that grid girls should feel shame right? It’s not that women can follow any path they choose but that we must go beyond that to removing the opportunity of jobs we’ve decided they should feel shame over.

      1. If this isn’t tomorrow’s COTD then I don’t know what is.

      2. Your elephant is not in the room though. It’s a rhino. There is no reason at all to feel ashamed about being a model, or being employed to walk around in skimpy dress to have (mostly) men oggle.

        This is not about the women doing the job, this is about the reason of why they should be standing there as a stand for a number. There are better ways to have those numbers presented on the grid. To me it would be far better to offer fans, or local young and upcoming racers (like the kids that get to pick tennis balls) etc the chance to be on the grid and meet their heroes.
        or just use stands, since the TV cameras nowadays rarely show us these women anyway, what with all the anthem time and gridwalks everyone is doing.

        1. @bascb So why does a kid deserve it more than the women right now? It is exactly and about nothing else than ‘women’ doing the job. There’s millions of jobs than could be cut out because ‘something else’ be it a kid or a machine could do… There is no other reason but some group of people who believe others might be offended by the women standing there, and the worst of it all you’re taking away free choice of people while proclaiming you’re liberating them.

          1. I wrote that fans, or local young and upcoming racers could be offered the chance to be there @flatsix. That way the sport would use the opportunity to connect more with the local racing scene, helping to grow motorsport and rewarding fans that come to see the race by getting close to the action

            1. @bascb Or it could support the local modelling business creating revenue for a local agency which let’s be honest is a far more easier way to have somebody standing there than to bring in fans.

            2. easier @flatsix? But is this about something being easy? It is also easier not to build large TV screens let fans sort it out themselves with their mobile devices. And it is easier not to do a driver parade before the race – i am sure drivers complain about having to take the time – but is it better value for money for fans?

              That is what this is about. F1 is looking at things that add and things that do not add to the value of the event. Having models there just to stand around is not something that really brings any of that to the fans. TV viewers don’s see much of them anyway because of add breaks, people in the grandstands aren’t paying for these girls but want to see the action, or get close to the teams (pitwalk) or the drivers (Fan zone and autograph sessions)
              I think that it could be used to do something that does bring fans something and / or help develop local motorsport. But that is just an idea, I think would be a great replacement. Instead F1 could just scrap the girls on the grid altogether and save money.

            3. F1 is looking at things that add and things that do not add to the value of the event.

              @bascb Well, if that was the real honest reason they’d no longer bring grid girls to the grid I’d have all the respect for it. But that’s not really the truth is it now,…

            4. Isn’t it @flatsix? Liberty bought a business to make money. They are now looking at things that can make them extra money, see where they need to invest to make more money in the future, look at how they can improve the “product” and see where they can save.

              This is one thing that doesn’t bring anything into the coffers but does cost a bit of money, it costs some image damage and it poses a potential huge risk to their image wih how society has developed over the last few years.

            5. So kids getting paid to stand around and look cute is ok, but women getting paid to stand around and look cute ISNT OK?

              So what your saying is grid girls are wrong because most males are aroused by females?

        2. Until a fan or local kid is injured on the grid. Would these fans or local kids be employed to be on the grid, or just volunteering?

          1. I know at least in Melbourne pretty much all the marshals are volunteers. They get fed and a few other perks but they don’t get paid. They are motorsports enthusiasts.

    7. Liberalism.. Find a cure!

    8. Good. When I watch F1 with my daughter, I want her to aspire to be in the car, or an engineer, team leader, or in fact any productive member of a team. Not just to stand around looking pretty.

      @Mattb I’m sorry for your daughter that she cannot grow up in a world where she can do whatever she wants but is limited by her father who sees grid girls and models as lesser human beings because they’re not engineers. You’re the real misogynist here.

      1. Hi @flatsix Thanks for your comment… no, if she ends up being a model for part of her life, then if she’s happy, I’m happy. But I was talking about long term aspirations. Children are very easily led. I’m a senior teacher and shockingly often am told by teenage girls “I can’t do that, it’s a man’s job”.

        1. @mattb Then that’s bad parenting on those children parents part. I teach my kids that they can do whatever they want if they are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams. Nothing is a given, but all can be conquered. The world is not fair, and we all better get used to that because it’ll never be.

    9. If I made a comment about not wanting my child to grow up being a cleaner or a postal worker, I’d likely be labelled a snob and told not to look down at a person just because of their job. I find it odd that the same attitude doesn’t extend to people who work in modelling who are reasonably high achievers, but there is this resentment towards them that the achievement isn’t earned, that they’re just privileged.

      An engineer, driver or a manager has to also have been privileged to be born with the right hereditary traits to be intelligent enough and have a suitable temperament to excel in those fields as well as the hard work needed to succeed. And guess what, someone revered for their physical appearance as well as winning the genetic lottery, also works damned hard to look how they look. Chris Hemsworth doesn’t look like Thor by sitting on the couch eating doughnuts.

      The thing I’ve liked least about the whole grid girl and the darts walk on girls saga isn’t that they’re gone, I tune in for car racing. It’s this patronising assumption that those girls are victims of oppression and need to be protected from exploitation and that somehow certain peoples choice to take offence earns them power.

      I’ll be honest I’ve always been a little awkward at car shows and events with scantily clad ladies dotted around them, to me it feels out of place and a little embarrassing that the perception is that’s what guys want. But that’s my issue, the ladies doing the work seem to universally love their jobs, and if there wasn’t enough value in their being there then we’d see them disappear without all the political overtones surrounding the departure.

    10. I’ll be suprised if grid girls leaving F1 in any mesurable way improve F1 attendance and viewership.

      But like who cares. We have pressing issue to resolve… Like coat hanging shark wings…

    11. Just because someone enjoys a job, doesn’t mean that job has to exist. The way I see is that they’ve simply been laid off from a job that the higher ups at F1 see no reason to exist anymore cause it adds nothing to the sport. Sure, it’s sad that they’ve lost a source of income from something they liked doing but, I’m sure they’ll find other work.

      1. @davef1 Absolutely, so if we’re honest and say ‘we’re cutting you out because you cost to much‘ we’d have the same feminists fighting for these women in this hard and unfair man driven world and demand they’d stay in place. I also hardly doubt financial reasoning was behind this whatsoever.

      2. @davef1

        If it was simply a matter of relevance or a financially prudent course of action I don’t think we’d be seeing the level of political posturing about the noble step forward that’s being taken.

        We’d have seen the practice gradually diminish as the numbers people saw less relevance to them as happens with most vocations that become outdated.

        This is the result of political pressure by people claiming they represent the interests of women, without any consideration for the opinions of the women that actually matter.

    12. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
      1st February 2018, 12:18

      Oh, by the way, where do we have this Race of Champions? Rijad, Saudi Arabia? And we’re racing in Bahrain despite 7 years of sheer political madness there. I wonder where the people able to distinguish between “right” and “wrong” are now.

    13. CoTD made me think… lots of promotional models (‘grid girls’ tend to be promo models) use their work to fund education to become things like “an engineer, team leader, or in fact any productive member of a team.” Or at least, productive employee of a company. Then once they’re done having fun and enjoying their youth, they go off and do that.

      So if we’re to believe one side of the debate… by improving their own future prospects, they’re ‘damaging’ those of other women. Funky.

    14. I think it’s hilarious how F1 wants to “clean” its image up with removing the grid girls but still will take millions of dollars from countries who have known histories of human rights abuses.

      1. Now that’s a comment I can relate to!

        Looking for F1 news and all I can find is “Grid Girls”. I’m starting to miss them already. Of course, it’s mostly written by men and what do we know and understand about women anyway eh?

        Come on guys, move along already!

    15. I disagree with the cotd. The comment implies that models who do this kind of work is somehow shameful or wrong whereas other professions are right. If my daughter was a model and a gig on one of the f1 races I’d be just as proud as I would be if she was working as engineer or reporter. While I agree that f1 having grid girls sends the wrong kind of message I find it bizzarre that some people still hold so strong negative opinions about the workers and their profession. I think it is horrible that tv shows need to pander to these over sensitive parents just so their kids don’t ask them difficult questions.

    16. Ugly fat hairy women and jumped up heterophobes have won out….oh well at least Silverstone and it’s stupid boss are also leaving the sport.

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