Grid, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

Goodbye grid girls: Your comments answered

2018 F1 season

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Formula One hit the headlines in a big way yesterday following its announcement grid girls will no longer be used in the championship from this season.

This prompted a huge response on F1 Fanatic from readers variously challenging, supporting and debating the decision.

As always I’ve tried to read and respond to as many of your comments as possible. As that tends to involve a lot of repetition, instead I’ve attempted to tackle as many of your different points of view on the subject as possible in one go.

Thanks to everyone who’s responded so far. Whether you agree or disagree with any of my responses below I hope you find them a useful addition to this hotly-debated talking point and I look forward to reading more of your replies.

Not negative?

I don’t think there is anything negative in having grid girls.
Patrick (@Anunaki)

I think the negative aspects of having grid girls in F1 have been clear for a long time. In 2015 the World Endurance Championship ended the practice of having grid girls and I argued for F1 to do the same:

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If a women chooses to flaunt themselves in a way that plays on their attractive looks and are happy doing it that is not exploitation.

This is an important part of the debate: If someone doesn’t agree or hasn’t considered that they’re being exploited, then are they being exploited?

I think the question comes down to who’s doing the (alleged) exploiting and why. In this case, F1 has been (largely) employing women ostensibly to perform a function which could be done by either gender (holding up a grid board) but whose true purpose was to serve as decoration.

Put 10 attractive women and 10 attractive men on the grid and it wouldn’t be an issue. But by limiting it to just women F1 was sending an unmistakable message about its view of the role of the two genders: Men participate, women decorate.

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Costing grid girls their jobs

Daniel Ricciardo's 'grid guy', Monte-Carlo, 2015
‘Grid guys’ didn’t catch on
Quit the smug back-slapping for a moment and look at what you’ve actually achieved here: you’ve reduced the earning opportunities for women. Yes, only in a tiny, trifling way, but it won’t stop here, and that’s the point: grid girls isn’t the hill on which I’d choose to take a stand, but a stand will have to be taken sometime.
Duncan Snowden

First, note F1 hasn’t announced what, if anything, may replace grid girls. Perhaps some other new promotional role will be created which will mean the same number of employment opportunities remains.

No doubt some of the concern for the future prospects of current grid girls is sincere. But on social media there is also a lot of (equally smug) sneering about ‘feminists costing women their jobs’.

In both cases, it’s striking that we never previously heard complaints about grid girls ‘reducing the earning opportunities for men’ who weren’t allowed to do their jobs (for the most part – see picture). You can draw your own conclusions about why no one was clamouring for men to be given the same chance to be objectified as women.

Removing grid girls allows Formula One to claim with greater conviction that it is truly a sport in which both genders can participate equally; that women are expected to perform the same tasks as men and not just stand there passively applauding and looking pretty.

As noted yesterday, female participation at grassroots level in motor racing is very low. If not having grid girls encourages more women to believe the sport is for them and participate in it, this must be a change for the better.

Grid kids

Would be great to see some kids get the chance to be a mascot for a driver every race now.
Unicron (@Unicron2002)

There have already been some great suggestions for how Formula One can replace grid girls with something more positive. At a time when it’s struggling to increase popularity with a younger audience, this seems like a great way forward.

Let circuits decide

I think the FIA should stay out of this and let the circuit owners decide if they want grid girls, grid boys, and the row of clapping people for the podium if they want it.
Michael Brown (@mbr-9)

The decision was taken by Formula One Management – who promote F1 – not the FIA who write the rules. And it’s FOM’s show, not the circuits’.

However it’s worth noting at least one race promoter has already spoken out in favour of not having grid girls any more.

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Political correctness

What a politically correct world we live in, strange times indeed, what shall next?
Jake (@jagged-jake)

I don’t think it can be disputed that this is an example of political correctness.

Other championships

Porsche, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015
WEC phased out grid girls in 2015

The World Endurance Championship got rid of grid girls in 2015, the world hasn’t fallen off its axis and you all still watch it.

Many other championships don’t have grid girls and yet haven’t attracted anything like the sort of attention F1 has over the past 24 hours. As usual, Formula One gets more attention because it’s the most well-known form of motorsport.

Non-issue or catastrophe?

Let’s be honest. Nobody will care in a few days/weeks.

This is probably true. Especially if you compare it to something like Halo, which I think a lot of people have misgivings about and is going to fundamentally change the appearance of the cars.

This is a decline of Western civilisation. Decline of Europe and its values.
Sergey Martyn

I doubt it, if only because F1 is an American-owned sport which mostly races outside Europe.

Cheerleaders and darts

That cheerleader hype fest at the United States Grand Prix last year was obviously the nail in the coffin of grid girls in F1.

It is striking that in a short space of time F1’s new owners went from experimenting with a new driver introduction format which incorporated grid girls to deciding they wouldn’t use grid girls any more.

Particularly when, just a few weeks ago, F1’s head of global sponsorship and commercial partnerships Murray Barnett said F1 intended to make grid girls “fully integrated into the programme and change the perception of what their involvement in the sport is” – rather than simply dropping them.

Why the sudden change of heart?

How disappointing that F1 didn’t take a lead on this. People have been calling for it for ages, and now it looks as though it has happened because the Professional Darts Corporation did it last week, rather than because it is the right thing to do.

The PDC’s decision to stop using ‘walk on girls’ was a big story in the UK last week. I’m not sure if it was noticed much beyond our shores, but it was another sign of the changing times, and one which will have further heaped pressure on F1 to halt its similar practice.

What’s next?

I wish F1 management acted as quickly on fan complaints – engine noise, penalty system, DRS overtaking (abolish it!), etc…

We probably all have our lists of things we’d like to change about F1 (DRS is top of mine). But not all of these have solutions which are as straightforward as this one. Dropping engine grid penalties, for example, is fraught with problems.

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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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  • 181 comments on “Goodbye grid girls: Your comments answered”

    1. There have been a lot of people criticising this decision. Thanks Keith for providing some reasoned and balanced counter arguments.

      Grid kids was something I’ve been suggesting as well. I think of this as an opportunity to bring real fans much closer to the sport. Imagine being 10 years old and standing in front of Vettel’s Ferrari because you won a competition.

      Grid girls look fantastic, and they still will. Just in another capacity.

      1. What other capacity? What are you talking about?

      2. “Imagine being 10 years old and standing in front of Vettel’s Ferrari because you won a competition.”
        Imagine now it’s your child and there are 10 degrees Celsius, wind and heavy rain. Or burning sun with 40-50 degrees Celsius. Your child will stay there for 1 hour. How is this OK? What parent would put his/her child through this?
        Adults are one thing, they decide for themselves! If I want and choose to be and stand there then it’s my choice.
        Children, it’s a total different thing.

        1. @racerjoss My problem with replacing grid girls with grid kids is, essentially it makes all bad arguments against grid girls worse. I’ll just use keith’s arguments in the article. Exploitation? It’s still could be done anyone and the sole purpose is still decoration. Having kids also send a message to other kids that they can’t participate in the sports, it’s for adults only (which both statements is true but not correlated, just like grid girls and female driver argument are). Other series (or sports except football IIRC) also don’t use grid kids. You know what worse? If made it as some kind of contest prize like some people suggesting, when the grid girls are at least getting paid for doing the job.

          @oji You have a good point. It could devolve into some parent forcing their kids doing something they don’t enjoy for their parent’s ego.

          If we want to say the grid numbers is a decoration, then just use a pole or other inanimate solutions. If it’s more than just a decoration and has some marketing value, then I don’t see anything wrong using models for that purpose.

    2. Keith, you are a very reasonable person. But on this subject I’m afraid to say you have been brainwashed by new wave anti-men feminism.

      1. c’mon buddy

      2. “I usually agree with your opinions, but not in this case, so you must obviously be brainwashed because you don’t share my opinion on grid girls”

      3. Talk about brainwashed… The irony.

      4. By brainwashed I guess you mean that Keith only argues in the affirmative. Ie it’s not a “reasonable” argument, but a pursuasive one. And I’d agree in favour of the feminist agenda.

      5. I generally agree with Keith’s point of view. It’s always a balanced and well thought out statement.But I would have to disagree with him on many levels for this one.

        If grid girls are representative of a culture where women are supposed to look pretty and not do much else, then F1 drivers are representative of a culture where men are supposed to be arrogant, alpha-male daredevils. Neither of which have a positive effect on our culture and ‘modern values’.

      6. ‘Anti-men feminism’ is acting to see women in more meaningful roles? You’re mixing things up and use terms you don’t understand.

        1. Deserving women already strive and can get to more meaningful roles, this has nothing to do with the agenda of demasculinization and extreme desexualization of society, of which the news we are commenting is a symptom. I know the terms I am using extremely well.

          1. so you’ve watched some jordan peterson videos on youtube? the man is an alt-right hack. this thread is embarassing.

            1. Not another person that has fallen for the media’s non-existent alt-right boogie man meme. Grow up. If you’re an adult and using that term, you really need to have a good long hard look at yourself.

          2. Extreme desexualization… This comment is laughable at best. Half the internet traffic on the world is about sex. Keep your certitudes for yourself.

      7. Well, he argues his case with reasoned arguments, and you’re just slinging an insult at him, so guess who looks more brainwashed?

        1. I used to be brainwashed, if you told me then I would have thought about it and doubted myself and maybe in the end disagreed, but how is that an insult? you have to have a weird reasoning to believe it is an insult. Nowadays one can’t say anything without anyone, you in this case, feeling offended.

      8. Agree, the reasoning seems to be absurd. I am not really bothered if grid girls aren’t there but the reasoning seems to be regressive rather than being open minded about it.

      9. I am running out of F1 sites to follow, I´m going to give Kieth a second chance here but anymore SJW / Feminism nonsense and I am out of here.

    3. Re: Grid Kids

      When will grid kids get banned on grounds of exploitation? :)

      I think its an awesome idea, just like football, tennis etc.

      To be honest, in all my years of watching F1, I’ve hardly ever noticed the grid girls. Who in the right mind would want to look at a girl (yes, even one that’s very attractive) when you’ve a got a Formula 1 car sat right next to her?? Priorities: Beer, Cars, and then possibly women.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        1st February 2018, 15:28

        @jaymenon10 The fact that you haven’t noticed it, doesn’t mean you are not seeing them. In fact it means the opposite, your brain assumes that they belong there, otherwise you’d notice it as being weird. Imagine a donkey standing in front of a Ferrari on the grid – you’d notice that because your brain would process it as something that’s unusual and not right.

        1. @freelittlebirds
          ” Imagine a donkey standing in front of a Ferrari on the grid – ”

          I do miss Bernie.

      2. Just because your priorities are ‘beer, cars and women’ doesn’t mean that everyone shares your outlook. These aren’t my priorities when I watch motorsport and they certainly aren’t the proirities of my daughter… F1 should be about fast racing cars-everything else is peripheral.

        1. Thank you for telling me and everyone else what their priorities should be.
          What would we all be without the strict, uniform guidance of the ‘progressive’ left.

      1. HA!

        reply to Rebecca
        June Tilbury @TILBUJ
        It’s weird having women parading about – WHY? How is it relevant to motor racing? Get a proper job –
        Not everyone can do something they love and it’s clearly not a long-term career.

        Rebecca replied:
        Get a proper job… last time I checked I own a successful company, have a degree, yet stil CHOOSE to spend my weekends as a grid girl 🤔

        1. I own a successful company, have a degree

          Brilliant, guess she won’t have any trouble looking for another job.

          1. I guess the only thing missing from her life is an anonymous male on the internet telling her what she should be doing with her life because he thinks it will make him look good in front of his friends.

      2. @coloradosti Thanks for posting these links. I checked the first two accounts. Lucy’s average tweet consists of approximately three words and the last F1-related tweet was on October 29 (“YASSSS! @LewisHamilton #WorldChampion #F1 @MercedesAMGF1″). Lauren-Jade does not seem to care about F1 at all but now both of them are posting extensive comments about how much they love being F1 grid girls and how wrong all those feminists are. Not suspicious at all.

        1. @girts Could you do that for my twitter account also? I’m really interested how often I tweet about my job.

          1. @FlatSix I never tweet about my job. Not when I am happy with it, not when I am angry with it, not when I change it, not when my job description changes. Never.

        2. quite possibly. I didn’t actually Scotland Yard them.

          I mostly enjoy watching horrible people like June Tilbury professing to be a caring member of Labour while actually being a terribly unhappy scold who knows better than others who should do what they are told by her.

        3. Well, I imagine they didn’t think it relevant to post about being a grid girl every single day when it’s just a job they do on the side and enjoy doing. But now they’re unable to do that job, they tweet about it. Seems perfectly logical to me.

          I honestly don’t know where to stand on it as I see both sides of the argument, btw.

          1. @hugh11 People, who are involved in F1, normally tweet about their job – you can check the large F1F Twitter directory. Even if I am wrong thinking that these grid girls have been asked by their management to post such tweets, it simply underlines that grid girls do not actually belong in F1. If F1 announced their intention to get rid of janitors because of some advanced cleaning technology, then no one would care so I believe that the concerns about ‘lost jobs’ are rather fake.

            As for the debate in general, I have actually never had a very strong opinion – presence or removal of these ladies is not something I care a lot about. Also, several drivers from other series are apparently not happy about F1’s decision and it is perfectly OK to want to keep the grid girls. But some of the arguments used in this debate are rather childish imo.

        4. Why does it matter if they care about F1? They can still enjoy their job.

          My last permanent job was doing IT for a beauty products distributor. I cared nothing for what my employer was actually doing, but loved my job and performed it with passion and dedication.

          I have seen tweets and comments from several “Grid Girls” who love doing it. Who cares if they actually like F1 (or motorsport in general)? It’s the job they love, and FOM have just decided to, effectively, fire them (or make them redundant). Even if they are offered different jobs, that’s not the job they love doing. I wouldn’t be happy if a company offered me a customer service role because they decided to outsource all their IT (or just decided they didn’t need computers any more).

          I suspect that if you spoke to the Grid Girls themselves, the majority would say they like the job and would like to continue. Assuming this is the case, FOM have bowed to pressure from “feminists” and fired a load of women! This doesn’t seem quite right to me.

          I can, of course, see the reasoning behind it. I am just not certain that it is a very good solution.

          1. @drmouse I agree with you but then we are talking about labour market in capitalism, not F1 and what it should be like.

    4. I hope they leave it up to the teams to decide who is going to represent them.

      They could pick from their favorite charity or go with a bombshell of a model. Should work to portray who they want to be.

    5. it’s striking that we never previously heard complaints about grid girls ‘reducing the earning opportunities for men’ who weren’t allowed to do their jobs

      And even in those rare cases when grid boys were hired, the selection process was outrageously discriminatory. For instance, I would not be able become a grid boy because I am a skinny guy. The same goes for any 50-year old man because he is, well, 50 years old. I do not blame F1 for looking for young, buff and good-looking men – that is how the show business works. But it is fair to say that the selection process had never anything to do with ‘giving opportunities’ to anyone.

      1. And this is why nobody is losing a career over this: How many times will one individual be a grid girl at an F1 race? I assume that they don’t follow the circus around the world but appear at one F1 race in any calendar year in their home country… And how long is the career of a grid girl? Five years? Ten years? So that’s ten opportunities at the most to appear on an F1 grid denied… Not what I would call a ‘career’.

    6. We’re on the way to have one day a Mother Theresa on the grid. World has gone crazy. Women, champagne are an essential part of the show of motor racing, everything else is PC really.

      1. You are aware that being politically correct is a good thing, right?

        1. “The term political correctness is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.”

          Men are feeling offended by girls being present on the grid, and Liberty is scared of men and women feeling offended by this. Who cares about your useless feelings. In this case political correctness is obviously a BAD thing, you’ll indeed agree.

        2. Why? All of you brain police make me laugh. That statement.. Politically Correct. Why on EARTH would I give a damn about politics? And who is correct? What happened to be civil and live your own life?
          That’s not good enough any more eh?

        3. You are aware that being politically correct is a good thing, right?

          Wow. Maybe if you’re a fan of conformism and diplomacy. I prefer freedom of expression and entitlement to your own thoughts.

          1. @todfod Funnily enough I DO prefer diplomacy over entitlement. I wonder if you’re using those words without really understanding what them mean? Don’t worry – you’re not the only one. There’s a lot of it going around.

            1. @fluxsource

              No arguing with someone who believes that Diplomacy is more important than having an opinion.

              Technically, you shouldn’t be able to argue because you aren’t entitled to an opinion ;)

            2. @todfod Yep, pretty sure you’re using words wrong. Please stop now.

            3. @fluxsource

              Sure. Whatever you say

      2. Women, champagne are an essential part of the show of motor racing

        The reason the Nordschleife, the real bus-stop chicane, a car which like a horse is powered from in front of the driver, death, and huge amounts of danger and risk aren’t is?

      3. Women, champagne are an essential part of the show of motor racing

        You’re absolutely right. Every Sunday during the season, I get up, go to the living room, turn on the TV, and watch up until the green lights go out and then fast forward to when the overture from Carmen plays.

    7. I think this is a disgrace, women have just as much right to be on an F1 grid as men do!
      But being serious for a moment, all this so called ‘PC’ stuff is really only a way of censoring peoples free speech. Sure, you can have a different opinion to the majority, as long as it falls within acceptable guidelines. For ‘politically correct’ read ‘newspeak’ ala George Orwells 1984 novel.
      What’s next on the banning list I ask? Where are we living, North korea, or maybe in a Taliban controlled district?
      The western world is becoming more puritanical by the year, I wish Bill Hicks was still alive!
      Hello kitty is now going for a walk to get some fresh air.

      1. You may note that this “ban” isn’t a ban, it is not some legislator demanding F1 to drop grid girls. It is a commercial decision by the F1-promoters to stop hiring for a position that is a commercial loss. Even within motorsport-fans you don’t get a majority that wants them, and any potential new target-group will likely be even less attracted by it.

        1. It’s a ban by the governing body, yes, that’s what I said. And another thing, if men and women, or boys and girls are equals, won’t anybody with two legs be exploited just as much by holding a sign or an umbrella?

          1. It’s a ban by the governing body

            It is not. The governing body would be the FiA. This decision was made by the promoters, Liberty media.

            And another thing, if men and women, or boys and girls are equals, won’t anybody with two legs be exploited just as much by holding a sign or an umbrella?

            They’ve already tried boys and kids, neither of them worked commercially. There is a secret unmentioned other reason for why this day and age does not need women as decorations in all sorts of events anymore: The target group can access adult movies everywhere and anytime with the press of a button, so the need/desire (sometimes more, sometimes less subtly) to place “sexy inspirations” in all sort of unrelated areas has been diminished. You do not need to worry about your opportunities to look at beautiful women on screens, they don’t go away just because F1 decides to not be associated anymore, and any outrage thus looks a bit fake. Those who may have watched F1 for the grid girls, if a target group like that existed, have long found other access with vastly more and more direct content, so F1 can’t really get much from there anymore, while a decision to stop the grid-girl-practice opens up new markets.

          2. Not a ban by the governing body. That’s the FIA. It’s FOM that has decided to stop using grid girls. Themselves. If that’s a “ban” then fine – they’ve “banned” people from the utterly pointless job of holding a sign and standing in a corridor.

            Grid girls added nothing to the race. They cost FOM money, and FOM don’t want to spend that money any more. That it happens to be getting rid of a role who’s only purpose was to objectify and oggle women is a bonus.

          3. I suppose the answer to that would be that men and women and boys and girls are not yet treated equally, or at least have not been in the fairly recent past. So coming off an era where women have been paid less than men for doing the same job, for example, or are treated as eye candy, we wouldn’t feel like men were being exploited as an umbrella holder because they have not been exploited leading up to taking that job. The optics are that women are on the grid as decorations.

            This makes me think of how some people ask why the LGBTQ community has a Gay Pride parade…after all you don’t see straight people having parades espousing their heterosexuality, they say. And the answer is that it is not straight people who have been persecuted and vilified, nor therefore feel compelled to remind people of their equality and validity in society via events like a parade.

            1. Women are not being paid less than women, they are being paid more. Make your research before making false and misleading comments. This is for mr. 100% down here as well.

            2. @Bammolo Talk about misleading comments…

            3. Seriously, just because the media says so it doesn’t mean it’s true. In most European countries and certainly in the USA and Australia, women don’t make any less than men, per hour worked, per profession.

        2. @Crammond

          You may note that this “ban” isn’t a ban, it is not some legislator demanding F1 to drop grid girls. It is a commercial decision by the F1 promoters to stop hiring for a position that is a commercial loss.

          This is a good point which is being widely overlooked.

      2. I think this is a disgrace, women have just as much right to be on an F1 grid as men do!

        Which is why they won’t let grid boys on the grid, despite letting women both be grid girls and drivers, except with sof ew drivers they help discourage females from racing as well, comprimising at the end of the day the rights of both men and women.

      3. What a drama for grid girls! You’re acting like the civilization was about to collapse. Take a deep breath, you’ll survive.

    8. – grid kids
      – drivers solemnly standing before the hymn of current dictator state they’re in
      – Halo
      – force India logo instead of F1
      – pay wall EVERYWHERE

      I’m not going to last long if F1 goes down the drain like this, we risk missing Ecclestone.

    9. The world has changed and that is it, it is what it is. I am more concerned about Halo to be honest, and the less noise that the engines make in recent years. I guess I am getting too old!

    10. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
      1st February 2018, 14:18

      “I think the negative aspects of having grid girls in F1 have been clear for a long time. In 2015 the World Endurance Championship ended the practice of having grid girls and I argued for F1 to do the same.”

      So the author has practically counter-argued the previous argument without any actual argument at all. This is hardly a proffesional approach.

      1. @gentlemanfromwoking Did you click on the link directly below that quote? because if you had done so, you’d have been taken to a post where @keithcollantine argues extensively and in detail about why he doesn’t believe the archaic spectacle of ‘grid girls’ has any place in modern motorsport.

        Personally I’m very happy that they’ve taken this decision – it’s a shame that it’s not an issue on which F1 chose to lead, but better late than never.

        It’s probably quite hard for the majority of posters to fully appreciate, because I think it requires you to step outside of your own bubble and see things from a different perspective. I’m a straight man, I find women attractive. I’ve becomes used, over the years, to seeing attractive women presented besides products which are targeted specifically at me. When you use women in this way, to promote a product, you’re making a very clear statement that this product is almost exclusively aimed at straight men.

        F1 should be an inclusive space, there for everyone to enjoy. Straight, gay, male, female, any age range. There should be appeal there for everyone. Because that’s one of the most important things about sports – it brings people from all kinds of demographics together. I want F1 to be something I can enjoy with my wife and daughter, without them being made uncomfortable by being subjected to something that is clearly there for my sexual gratification. As my daughter grows up and thinks about the things she wants to do in her life, I want her to feel like motorsport is a space in which she can participate – with the huge disparity between genders represented in motorsports, I think it otherwise looks very much like the sport (participating and spectating) is for straight men only. The function of women in motorsport is not to participate, not to watch, but simply as decoration. Stand there and look pretty, let the old men look at your bodies and imagine having sex with you. I don’t want my daughter to feel that this is the expectation. I don’t want that to be the kind of world she has to grow up in. This isn’t a judgement on the women who fulfill this role; it’s a judgement on the people who insist that it must be a part of sport.

        So this is a brilliant, positive step in the right direction. It sends out a clear message that F1 is for everyone, not just for people like me. Now I just hope they can fix the other issues in the sport so that it still exists when my daughter is old enough to follow it with me!

        1. M.S. (@gentlemanfromwoking)
          1st February 2018, 15:28

          Your comment’s full of the clichés and hardly argumentative, if I wanted a lecture about this perception of the matter, I’d probably go and read dozens of articles with same style of “argumentation”. But that’s not important now, what I want to do is to stress that I’ve hardly realised presence of grid girls on the grid in recent years and they were one of the things of absolutely no importance to the working mechanism of the F1. Let’s just get a break and stop bringing current North American political struggles to Formula 1, there are dozens of more important things to work out. Furthermore, you’re point of inclusion is, to put it lightly, rather ridiculous – I’m sure there were thousands of homosexuals watching F1 and just because you’re overly sensitive about certain matters doesn’t mean everybody gets put off by them. If twenty girls on the grid are enough to make people stop watching Formula 1, well, then thank you very much, they are probably not really keen on actual racing.

          “The function of women in motorsport is not to participate, not to watch, but simply as decoration. Stand there and look pretty, let the old men look at your bodies and imagine having sex with you. I don’t want my daughter to feel that this is the expectation.”

          Reminds me of Puritan claims who were imagining every possible situation with respect to sin, and what they actually did was showing what they were afraid of doing themselves. I’m not accusing you in any way, I just despise this kind of narrative.

          And last but not least, the thing that we’ve just had the Race of Champions in Rijád, a true stronghold of female rights, is apparently less pressing matter than twenty employed and fairly treated human beings standing on a race track once in three weeks.

          1. @gentlemanfromwoking If I believed for a moment that you had any intention of allowing your preconceptions to be challenged, or thinking critically about how your own life circumstances colour your perception, I would be happy to carry on this discussion. But realistically I don’t think you are prepared to even consider the possibility that representations such as these are in any way harmful – it seems you believe because they are not directly harmful to you, that they can’t be harmful to anyone. It’s a fallacy, but not one I’m going to waste a lot of my time going over with someone whose mind is closed to other possibilities.

            All I will say is this – if you’ve barely noticed the presence of ‘grid girls’ in F1, then what’s the argument in favour of their continued presence? if you were creating a racing series from the ground up, would you choose to include women as background decoration, in spite of the fact that you barely even register their existence?

            I honestly feel that, even if you set aside the harmful implications of women being used as set dressing, the world has moved beyond the point where this even has a justifiable marketing outcome. There may be a tiny remaining demographic, like those despicable men at that recent ‘Presidents Club’ event, who feel like their lifestyle should involve women serving (and served) for their enjoyment and consumption, but on the whole I feel like these are the last vestiges of a dying breed. A tiny minority who have ceased to even have the influence in consumer markets to be worth the time or effort to cater for. On a basic level, women used in this way, it’s old fashioned – uncool. The image isn’t James Bond, it’s Sid James, gurning and yakking and rubbing his hands. If you’re building a brand for success into the future, part of that involves abandoning the anachronisms which tie you to the past. Getting rid of grid girls isn’t just good in the sense of removing harmful representations of women, it’s also just good business sense.

        2. @mazdachris Great comment and to that end then I wonder if in conjunction with the removal of grid girls F1 will do more segments on the women who currently are in F1 in other factions, including back at the headquarters and shops who aren’t part of the travelling crews that go to all the races. I know Sky has done a bit of that within certain pre and post quali and race shows here and there.

        3. Question (and this is open to everyone):
          Has anyone, at any time, during any grid walk, ever seen the interviewer talk to one of these ‘grid girls’? I’ve seen many a superfluous ‘celebrity’ asked their opinion on something that they clearly know nothing about. But, these grid girls (said by some to be an essential part of F1s DNA), I’ve never heard them spoken to… almost as if they are held in no regard by the male egos fighting for space on the grid…

          1. I seem to remember Martin Brundle talking to a grid girl once but I can’t remember when, it may have been quite a few years back.

            1. It was the grid girl for Nick Heidfeld’s car in Silverstone 2004. I remember it because the reason he was talking to her was because she was Eddie Jordan’s eldest daughter, being given the work experience to prepare for a career in sports PR.

        4. I’m a straight man, I find women attractive. I’ve becomes used, over the years, to seeing attractive women presented besides products which are targeted specifically at me. When you use women in this way, to promote a product, you’re making a very clear statement that this product is almost exclusively aimed at straight men.

          Well.. then you should have as much of a problem with McDonalds hiring a model to showcase you a burger, as much as grid girls. But clearly, you can watch one of those ads on TV and not be as affected by it.

          F1 should be an inclusive space, there for everyone to enjoy. Straight, gay, male, female, any age range. There should be appeal there for everyone.

          What do you suggest? Have members of the entire LGBTQ community on the grid? I believe a show like ‘Sex and the City’ should be for everyone to enjoy. How about taking making their content more appealing to men and stop showcasing men as chauvinistic and misogynistic. I’d want to be comfortable to watch that show without reducing my self worth.

          The function of women in motorsport is not to participate, not to watch, but simply as decoration.

          Really? We’ve had 2 team principals that are female. How many other male dominated sports do you know where women are at the helm? Football? Hockey? Cricket? Basketball? There are tons of women in the engineering, PR, Marketing and other aspects of F1 as well. Women who don’t necessarily have the talent have even had the opportunity to drive an F1 car. Just because there are also grid girls, it suddenly makes women in motorsport ‘decorations’ .

      2. @gentlemanfromwoking Did you not see the link?

        1. I have, and find the argument exceedingly stretched.
          You equate the presence of umbrella girls on the grid to the display of a “sex object”.
          That, to me, speaks volumes of your own inner compulsions, more than of the role those ladies held (I’d ask THEM, in case, how they felt about it. And so far, not one has come out in public with a single exploitation case. They may still do, I wouldn’t know, but have not yet.).
          Beauty can exist, and be displayed, at the net of Possession, and sexual at that.
          It “sells”, because that is what association with beauty does, just like with cuteness.
          It isn’t exclusive of *anything* else, for either the active party (some of said ladies have degrees and other jobs besides.), or the passive one (Me, the viewer. It’s one more horse trying to jump through hoops in a tense situation. i can relate to that, more than her tits, for example.).

          You also leverage another false dichotomy: “the columns of applauding women who greet the exclusively male drivers at the end of every race sends an unequivocal message about F1’s view of the roles of the two genders.”
          As if by the presence of female, pretty personnel alongside the (applauding, too.) officials was the cause for the lack of female presence in motor racing at large, and F1 in particular, and that is patently uncorrelated.
          Said message may be “unequivocal” to those choosing to read it as such, but it can’t be made universally so as you seem to imply.

          If this wasn’t enough, the “Sport” is no Sport, nor has ever been inclusive.
          It’s a rich white male circus, and the latest stunt is only a weak attempt at appeasing the oh-so-bothered American side of said demographic, at a time where their sensitivity in matters of exploitation is somewhat heightened.
          Seeing “Ethics” in all this is as naive as it is misguided, in my personal opinion.

          What is worrying is the attempt to make a *product* (not. sport.) THEY want, as if the recent fanbase report never existed.
          It’s all gonna be mighty fine, until it won’t: just plough on with media acquisitions and knee-jerk (oh, sorry. a year long evaluated and planned.) changes, and hope no one notices.

          1. We have a winner. Bingo!

          2. And no response. Weird.

      3. You expected a professional approach? You’re aware you’re on f1fanatic, right?

    11. It is enough for me that the ladies/girls are up in arms about the decision to get rid of them. I’m an old geezer over 70yrs of age and take the risk of being called a dirty old man, but I want them to stay and strut their stuff as long as they are pleased to do so. The ‘energy’ in all it’s forms that brings us F1 is causing no end of damage to the earth. The greatest harm the grid girls can cause is to the foot of the guy that get’s too close to their stiletto heels.

      1. @f1azzer yet again someone totally missing the point. It doesn’t matter that they’re willing to do it – it’s not an appropriate thing to be happening at a motorsport event.

        1. Yes it is

        2. You are not who should decide what is appropriate or not at a Motorsport event. Keep your being offended for yourself. Nobody cares about your feelings.

          1. But everyone should care about yours @bammolo, because you want to keep them?

            It’s amazing how many things fall into “pc snowflake” territory when it involves a group of men who currently enjoy a benefit (pretty girls to stare at) that they haven’t earned, isn’t meaningful, and won’t mean any meaningful loss to anyone if it goes.

            1. It’s not about my feelings, it’s about censorship. You people don’t see censorship even when it’s stuck to your face.

    12. Merseysidefella
      1st February 2018, 14:59

      No grid girls because the guy from Liberty with the curly moustache is gay

    13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st February 2018, 15:21

      What? The Darts Championship won’t use models either? God almighty!

      Has anyone ever seen the men who play darts? Vettel would be the equivalent of Brad Pitt in the darts world.

      Can the Darts men at least start wearing tuxedos like the Snooker folks do? Not sure most of them can fit in them either but they can at leas try. What about the music when they walk on? Please tell me they kept that….

      Can snooker and soccer at least add some women to balance things out? If you are watching 6 hours of snooker, even when the sublime Ronnie O’Sullivan is playing, it’d be a lot more enjoyable if you had models standing in each corner of the table. I think we are all in agreement there.

      Poker too – model dealers on the main table. That would make it a bit more entertaining to watch.

      God, why is it that we need to spoil everything that’s good and fun? You know what Europe needs – better smoking regulation. It’s ridiculous that I have to smoke 10 packs of cigarettes wherever I go in Europe because of second-hand smoking.

      1. @freelittlebirds, European (EU) rule limits smoking to only very specific places. If you suffer from second hand smoking then you should get out of the smokers booth. Either that or you are not in the EU.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          1st February 2018, 18:50

          @patrickl Yeah, I know about the limits but no one enforced them at restaurants and public places at least while I was on vacation in the Mediterranean.

    14. It doesn’t bother me one way or another but I would have been happier if grid girls had made this decision for themselves instead of being told (by men) that they are no longer required. I get all the arguments but I just wish the people it affects most were in on it. Kind of hypocritical really.. It smacks of someone trying to play to the gallery.

      Do you know this one issue has generated more lines of press and comment than almost any other subject in F1? That about sums up the priorities these days…👎

      1. Exactly, it’s just some feel good nonsense for the PC crowd. If anything we need less of these pretentious “PC people” rather than grid girls.

        1. @patrickl the PC people will find something else to be offended about soon and forget all about grid girls… while all the time leaving an ever-growing trail of destruction in their wake.

    15. I imagine models at car shows will be next, followed by models in advertising, followed by runway models, followed by a total ban on having women portrayed. Where does it stop?

      Employment for women was restricted to the medical sector, because male medical personnel were not allowed to treat women and girls. One result of the banning of employment of women by the Taliban was the closing down in places like Kabul of primary schools not only for girls but for boys, because almost all the teachers there were women.

    16. To be honest, i don’t understand what the fuss is all about. I am a racing fan, and i want to see fast cars battling it out on the track – everything else is just a sideshow that i really don’t care about one bit. If there are grid girls – fine, if there are no grid girls – also fine. It has no impact whatsoever on the actual racing.

      Why some people get so worked up by all this as if it is the end of the world is completely beyond me.

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

      Here is a piece by one of them –

      1. I’ll counter this this with Jennie Gow – who’s obviously an F1 journalist (and a female one at that):

        Her article on ESPN:

        I’ll finish with the fact that just because people are willing, doesn’t mean it’s a particularly good thing to do. Sir Jackie Stewart was vilified not just by the press, but by other drivers in the sport, for his safety advocacy. Just because drivers were willing to drive in unsafe conditions, and the sport and media was willing for them to drive in those conditions, doesn’t mean continuing the status quo was a-ok. In fact, Sir Jackie is lauded for taking his stance, even in the face of the backlash he received, and quite rightly, safety measures were put into place – even though drivers were willing to keep going (and willing to lose their lives!).

      2. Well, I have read a few of those opinions now and they all sound a bit too similar but that is not the point. I think that what Hannah James is saying is more or less right. Promotional models are not all dumb and I imagine that most of them like their job and are treated with respect. But it is also pretty obvious that grid girls are not hired because of their ‘degrees’ or other similar qualities. They are on the grid exactly and only because they are “pretty faces” and they do not really care if they are promoting F1 or a barbecue sauce – that is very obvious even from their own posts. Obviously you can also not expect them to be happy about losing one of their (potential) income sources even if that is probably not a big amount of money.

        As @yellowsapphire is saying, the fact that the girls are OK with looking sexy on the grid and getting paid for that, does not automatically mean that it is what F1 should keep doing. I think that this is about much more than feminists telling other women what to do and what not to do. First and foremost, this is about the fact that it is kind of difficult to promote equality and diversity if all you see on a race day is boys driving and pretty girls smiling and applauding them. There is no way F1 can then send a message that you can choose what to become regardless of your gender.

    18. A lot of the arguments both ways have already been said.

      Models represent brands and industries outside of F1 all the time and only the smallest of vocal minorities would have a problem with that. Sex sells product.

      The problem with the grid girls at F1 events had to do with the pre-podium corridor routine where the grid girls applauded the drivers on the way to the podium. It was demeaning, sexist, patronising and awkward for the women as well as the women watching at home to have them do that. The fact that I got used to it as a male viewer is a little shameful on my behalf.

      I believe that both sides could have been pleased by having the grid girls in more constructive roles and having them doing less demeaning things like the applause on the way to the F1 podium. The decision by FOM to remove the grid girls, I hope, had little to do with them being there and had everything to do with their role in the sport. Attractive models will not be stopped at the gates from attending F1 events – it just means grid girls in that capacity have been scrapped.

      1. @crunch
        Good comment. I have to admit I was surprised grid girls were completely scrapped rather than a compromise solution being found. The corridor of clapping women was by far the most distasteful aspect of their job (I assume it was an Ecclestone initiative), if they’d just removed that I think it would have appeased most people. I assume there will still be jobs going in things like sponsor hospitality or promotional events.

        Perhaps in this newfound spirit of sporting purity FOM can stop cutting out of the race broadcast to show us celebrities looking gormless in pit garages, or women on their phones in the paddock club.

    19. What a time to be alive! We should also destroy each and every pieces of art whose true purpose was to serve as decoration that depicted (attractive) women. All those women performed a function which could be done by either gender!

      (Gender, you say, instead of sex. What a shame that a once decent site dedicated to Formula-1 racing is now getting infested with made-up terms created by freeloaders who had never worked an honest day’s work in their miserable lives.)

      While we’re at it, we should also destroy modeling industry, ban selling fashionable clothes and beauty accessories, torch down all theatres and cinemas that ever dared to display attractive women, block half the internet sites, burn 99% of the literature legacy of humanity, and so on. How dare attractive women look attractive in the eyes of straight men, and how dare straight men realize that they are attractive! It’s 2018, you bigots! Be progressive! -.-

      1. In the name of decency and feeling they (organizers and commenters here) stop and agree with the stoppage of paid woman looking good on track during the F1 weekend. What they don’t manage to understand, because of ignorance, misguidement and brainwashing, is that this is a matter of freedom, and in the end even of civilization. A civilization based on censorship and that bases every decision on people’s feelings instead of crude and utter reality (including in this case of the difference of the two sexes and the denial of existance of any other fantasized sex, of the role of the man and that of the woman) and societal compromise, is ultimately headed, and swiftly, towards madness, violence and collapse.

      2. @palagyi what a drama!

        1. Non smaller than the screaming outrage of letting pretty girls decide whether or not they would like to get paid for holding a sign before a race starts. Funny, when somebody disagrees with you, the whole question is labeled as drama, while otherwise it’s a social issue of utmost priority. Hypocrites like you are part of what’s wrong with our world.

          1. @palagyi you are posting a lengthy dramatic comment using strong words on how about the world is about to collapse and I’m supposed to be the one screaming outrage? The hypocrite being whats wrong in this world? I got no hard feelings about the matter and so are most here. You are quite overreacting I don’t buy your logic.

            1. Let me Google the term “sarcasm” for you, in case you took my comment to mean that the world is about to collapse.

    20. As much as these young ladies have the right to earn their living however they choose, a business has the right to try and change how they are perceived in the public eye. FOM has decided that they no longer want this aspect of “the show” to go on, and that is their choice to make. They are certainly not the first (or last) company to make a particular segment of their workforce redundant, and as in other cases, the affected workers will just have to suck it up and find employment elsewhere. It happens all the time.

    21. Wow 4 articles on such a non-issue.

      1. @patrickl Slow news week… (Also, some of the other things that occurred this week probably won’t reveal their full importance until they are done – or about to be done – in-season).

    22. Sorry but I think it’s utterly stupid how getting rid of grid girls suddenly became a cause celebre that the easily-offended types of this world latched onto… To make things clear I’m not a fan of grid girls, or grid boys, or really anything that doesn’t add anything to the racing, which is what I want to watch. BUT… the grid girls don’t have to do that job, most of them apparently enjoy it and I don’t think they’re being exploited. You may say it sets a bad example for young girls. But what if they genuinely want to be grid girls or the like, and don’t want to be drivers? If you think about it saying they can’t be a grid girl is just as bad as saying they can’t be a driver… it’s their choice. Let them choose and stop trying to impose on everyone a minority view just because you were offended. I think many of the people who suddenly became passionately against grid girls will soon forget about it and move on to the next ridiculous thing to misunderstand and get offended about. That’s the way of the world now. Take home message – just because you’re offended, it doesn’t mean you’re right.

      1. @tflb

        If you think about it saying they can’t be a grid girl is just as bad as saying they can’t be a driver… it’s their choice.

        Then surely you agree men should also have the choice to do the same job?

        1. @keithcollantine I don’t see why not? Grid boys experiment may not be a success but we also don’t hear about men have no place on doing that kind of job? In fact I never heard anyone argue that only women can have the job of holding a sign in the grid.

        2. So just because there’s no market for grid boys, grid girls shouldn’t be allowed either?

      2. @tflb ‘minority view’… do you have any statistics to support that? My guess is that it’s the other way around. But I got no hard feelings on the matter actually.

    23. I love how some people seem to think that if grid girls existed in the past they must somehow have been as natural a part of racing as tarmac and now that they’re gone it’s undoubtedly because someone hellbent on destroying traditional society is pushing mysterious levers to make it happen. As well, funny how most people who complain about others getting offended seem perpetually offended by others.

      Where I will disagree with you @keithcollantine is on the political correctness front, because if I take over a company and begin implementing more current methods and values to replace the outdated ones of my predecessor, calling that political correctness, to my mind, portrays the move as somehow devoid of substance and the result of political pressures, rather than simply the logical thing to do. If anything, this is more a case of financial correctness: Liberty want to start attracting a younger and ideally more mixed audience so, as any major business with its finger on the pulse, they will appeal to what makes them tick and jettison what doesn’t. Political correctness is more like when we call sexists and bigots ‘conversation partners’.

      1. Great comment @maciek. I agree, this is about Liberty putting the house in order, changing things that don’t add value and /or are a hindrance for their future bottom line

    24. Who will make the sport glamorous now???? These girls were diamonds amongst the rough for one of a better phrase. I follow WEC and that’s working out fine right? not saying grid girls are the be-all end-all of why the WEC is now needing a “SUPER SEASON” to figure out what to do. To me its just one extra nail in the coffin.

      1. @mtizzy-66 The main reason WEC is needing a super-season is because it was too dependent on one manufacturer, that then had a scandal which required it to seriously reduce its motorsport exposure and expenditure. Grid girls that the manufacturer wasn’t paying for would not have had any effect on its decision to leave, therefore would have had no effect on the strung-out season’s occurrence.

    25. As someone against grid girls, I was surprised when discussing this topic with my work mates today that the females were against the decision, with the reasoning ‘if women want to do it, they should be free to make that choice’. One has a daughter who worked a darts tournament and made a lot of money, which was handy as she was a student at the time. I’m still against grid girls, but like everything, nothing is ever black and white.

    26. Something tells me that Keith is a Jeremy Corbyn voter…..

      1. If he is then he has a lot of sense.

        1. If you want me to bore you senseless with my views on British politics may I recommend my Twitter feed. (Although a lot of motor sport stuff ends up there too.)

    27. ‘Grid kids’ / Mascots a-la Formula E / football – fantastic idea!

    28. So, paying women whose chosen work is “stand beautiful” is exploitive.
      Using voluntary marshal is not. One can wonder the logic.

    29. Apparently, the girls themselves are unhappy. There’s been a massive backlash, from current and former grid girls on social media.

      Personally, I just have to ask… “Can you get any more patronizing than a bunch of men deciding that women can’t do a job they enjoy, ‘for their own good’?”

      It certainly violates the precept of “women should be allowed to make their own choices”.

    30. chris97 (@chrismichaelaoun)
      1st February 2018, 21:10

      I’ve heard more woman be angry with this than men around here. It’s taken away their choice to model and be apart of an amazing world, rather than liberate them.

      I’m all for women’s rights and equality, I truly am, but in this particular situation (Other instances, say, wet t-shirt contests or other instances where woman are half nude or boobs half hanging out is a completely different story), it’s a huge step backwards for women.

      To all that think they are doing women a favour. I get on a whole your intentions, but in this situation, you got it wrong. Women should be empowered to make that decision and judging by the backlash of women, they wanted to.

    31. Wow! This issue has created more discussion than the halo, cost caps and the unfair 50% Liberty skims off the top of F1.

      My personal opinion tends to side with the personal choice choosers. Hats off for the cynical play by Liberty to exploit grid girls by not using grid girls which deflects attention away from the technical issues that Liberty can’t solve by just firing a group of workers.

      Well played, FOM, well played. Bernie would be proud – if he wasn’t so damn angry about Liberty stealing one of his best smokescreen tactics.

    32. The big boys at Liberty Media seem to think that the best way to avoid sexual harassment scandals is to stop hiring beautiful women. ;-)

    33. Thanks Keith for concisely writing down your thoughts on all the different types of argument that are surrounding this issue. I have been quite surprised to see the amount of uproar this has caused (maybe even more than halo). Similar to the implementation of halo (which I don’t personally like – from an aesthetic point of view, but I understand why it is needed), I am in support of banning Grid “girls”. I think F1 is heading the right direction with this move, and it does not take anything away from F1.

      In the topic of what could be done, Grid Kids are definitely a great idea. I remember on my flight to the Austin GP we had a terminally ill kid whose wish was to watch a GP. Fortunately, through a charity dedicated to kids and their last wishes (I forget the name of the charity) the family could come to Austin and see the race. I’m not sure if Liberty Media had been aware of that, but how cool would it be to have kids in these situations come to the races and meet their favourite drivers/teams in the paddock, etc.

      For F1 to survive we need younger audiences involved. The whole e-sport strategy I think will be a success and having kids representing the sport cannot be a bad thing. From this point of view, getting rid of the grid girls can only be a positive thing for the sport – as a motorsport/entertainment it opens up to all genders, caters to kids and family and takes a stand against archaic social norms.

      1. Edit: *the family could raise enough funds for them to come to Austin and see the race.*

      2. @savagebaboon Thanks very much, I hope you like the format, it’s an idea I was playing around with last year when the halo uproar kicked off. The tricky thing when there’s a big story like this is striking the balance between doing justice to an important topic which has got people talking and not boring people senseless by writing about the same thing over and over. This seemed a useful way of addressing multiple views at once.

        1. @keithcollantine you have summarized things perfectly. +1. I don’t usually comment on websites, but this website seems to cater to an audience that is particularly knowledgeable, and respectful. I’m pretty sure a lot of furor over this topic is due to the “long” off-season that we are currently going through. All F1 needs right now is a good winter testing where the field is more competitive and we’ll forget about the whole grid girls and the halo non-sense and discuss racing.

    34. Another option for former grid girls is to get involved in marshalling.

    35. So i now wonder when the push will start to ban “Victoria’s Secret” Models…

    36. Michael Brown (@)
      2nd February 2018, 0:26

      Thanks for the mention, @keithcollantine. I want to add to that point that I want corcuit organizers to put on the show they want. I imagine a grid with people (not just women) wearing cultural or holiday costumes.

      1. @mbr-9 as long with opening the spot to everyone, women, men, kids and fans, the cultural/holiday costumes is a nice idea too. Would be enjoyable and colorful.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          2nd February 2018, 23:01

          @spoutnik I never thought of fans taking the place. Imagine teams or Liberty Media having contests for fans to get the chance to stand on the grid.

          1. Mark in Florida
            4th February 2018, 4:12

            It would be deemed shallow exploitation by some wannabe do gooder. # stopexploitation. # saynotoeverything.

    37. The PC religion has reached F1. It won’t affect racing, it’s more of a global problem that we all have to face. It’s to me another populist move by Liberty and it comes as no surprise. My love for F1 won’t really be diminished by this, it just reinforces my overall disdain at the distrusting righteous nannies taking over the world and their subservient followers.

    38. I have a bit of a controversial opinion here, but I feel grid girls had to go because…what do they do? How do they enrich the viewing experience of F1? As most people rightly said, they don’t really notice grid girls, at least pre-race. And post-race their function was to stand in line and clap. Scores of skinny women wearing the same ‘uniform’ lining the walls. If that’s not total objectification I do not know what is. Almost the same role could be performed by balloons and streamers adorning the walls.
      Do you really need that kind of role? And I completely agree with Valentin Khorounzhiy’s tweet. What is really interesting from the fallout is the sheer range of responses and some of them betraying latent misogyny. Grid girls, like the British royal family, are dated concepts which have no place in today’s world.

    39. Unless grid girls are available for “fun”, i don’t see a reason for them. They are absolutely pointless.

    40. I can totally see why grid girls have to go and I am glad. I’ve always hated the fact that in this sport that I love there are so few women involved overall. For the best part on the pit wall; men, pit crew; men, engineers; men and drivers; all men, motorsport needs to change on a fundamental level and F1 needs to be seen to be taking note. How will Suzie Wolff’s women driver initiative ever be taken seriously if the majority of woman you see at a race are grid girls pouting at a camera and clapping in a line at 3 rich men walking to the cool down room? I do feel bad for the girls who enjoyed the work but times are rightly changing. I’m trying to bring up my 2 girls to realise they can achieve anything which is hard to do when woman are constantly made to feel they have to work twice as hard to go half as far in professional roles and images of ‘beauty’ are constantly thrusted in their faces.

    41. What’s next?

      I think the main point of this grid girl saga was it viewed as an act of objectifying women.
      So what’s next?
      I hope the PC movement would start to attack other professions too like super-modeling or make-up industry.
      Or they could revise some other sport that makes women having a cloth with more skin like Wimbledon tennis.
      Maybe women on synchronized swim should wear burkini soon.

      1. They have been brainwashed and they don’t realize it. They say we have been.

    42. Every time one of these “should we keep doing this?” question crops up I find it helpful to reframe it as “if this had never been done before, should we start doing it now?” It’s not only useful to weed out the appeal to tradition and sunk-cost fallacy arguments, but it also lets us see the remaining arguments in a new light.

      Right now the biggest argument in favour of keeping grid girls seems to be “it gives women more job opportunities”, but I don’t think it’s taking much of a risk to wager that in the scenario where F1 never had grid girls this argument would be nowhere near the first consideration in favour of introducing them.

      1. This is a good idea. “if this had never been done before, should we start doing it now?” I’d say no to that question. Because it’s obvious it’s done to appease a group “feminist” movement which many women themselves (and some who consider themselves also as feminist) don’t approve. If FOM getting rid of grid girls by more logical means (e.g.: the cost of hiring them is higher than predicted benefits) then by all means stop using them, but it’s not the reason recent announcement.

        In my opinion, the biggest argument in favour of keeping them is not a mere “more job opportunities”, but “letting an individual do what they want and already been doing”. It’s personal liberty issue (pun intended). In contrast, the biggest argument against seems more like “don’t do this because you damage my views on all people that have same sex with you”.

        I don’t think it’s taking much of a risk to wager that in the scenario where F1 never had grid girls this argument would be nowhere near the first consideration in favour of introducing them.

        I don’t know if FOM only removing their official grid girls or actually placing a ban on anything that like grid girls, but if it the former I’d actually willing to bet some team or sponsor will introduce their own glamorous pretty ladies in F1 events.

    43. I think Sniff Petrol hit this on the head on Twitter, this isn’t about anything other than it’s not in keeping with modern expectations. It’s not about feminism / anti-feminism / objectifying / putting people out of work (which is hilarious for anyone who works on a contractual basis, losing a 3-day contract does not make you unemployed).


      “I’m a lute player and every year F1 hire me to play madrigals with my lute on the grid at Silverstone but now they’ve said they don’t want lute playing because it makes the sport seem old fashioned and out of touch and I just think IT’S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD”

      “Look, unless you’re a lute player then you have no right to tell me where I can and can’t play my lute or offer your opinion on what sort of impression my lute playing creates at a sporting event. Some people LIKE French baroque string work.”

      “I DEMAND the RIGHT to play my outmoded musical instrument in a public place in return for money and as a lute player that should be my CHOICE.”

      For me, this is bang on, it’s outdated and not required, and I sure do like looking at hot women just as much as the next dood.

    44. Despite your arguments I still think there is nothing negative about grid girls. They’re doing the exact same thing as models or promotion girls (and boys), smile friendly and make visibile where a car/ driver is standing. Why is it OK to let far to skinny models promote beauty products for (little) girls, but is it not OK to let females be part of the (mature) F1 show?

      This is pure hypocrism and a unfortunately a sign of todays time. In Holland there is even a discussion about if you can say “Ladies and Gentlemen” on a trainstation because some people feel bad about their own gender.


    45. It’s nice to see the person who runs this site is more progressive than some F1 fans. It’s understandable of course, F1 has always been a very male dominated sport. Going to the British GP you have quite a lot of rich folks but also the segment of the fans being rather macho bikers and the like. Anything that makes the sport appeal to a wider fan base and doesn’t leave people feeling excluded or only worthy for the physical appearance (i.e. women) is seen as a negative by them, and everyone hates changes to traditions like this.

      But F1 needs to move on. It’s like everyone who complained about the new Star Wars featuring a powerful female lead as if it is only ever men who are allowed and who are believable as the hero, and then the knock on effect is now there’s millions of little girls who are now into Star Wars and will be lifelong fans as they have more heroes to identify with. These people see that as a bad thing and as a threat to their perception of their own dominance. They need to grow up frankly. I can’t wait to see F1’s first modern day female superstar driver. There’s a Japanese kid who’s only about 12 but was breaking track records in a single seater and who, you never know, could be a future megastar. You have to be truly sad to consider that as a “threat” rather than as something to be hyped for and happy about.

      Grid Girls are something from bygone era and it’s time to move on. All they do is say to girls everywhere that that’s where there place is in the world, as attractive objects for men to ogle over. That has a really strong effect on females and creates a self fulfilling prophecy so that is the world we end up living in, especially since this ideology is in practice in an all pervasive manner in society. You can’t go five feet without seeing women reduced to something pretty to look at to sell something. F1 doesn’t need it, they serve no purpose and is much rather see more women behind the scenes and of course in the cars. This is a first step to increasing female participation in the sport at all levels so in a decade or two from now we could and should have far more women partaking in this sport. And remember if that happens F1 will just grow and grow in popularity as the potential fan base explodes. The cynic in me wonders why a certain type of guy wouldn’t want more women out there as active fans of F1 and eager to go to races with them, it’s strange you wouldn’t want that even as an old fashioned guy!

      1. Thanks but please do note the results of the poll we did here three years ago where a majority of readers favoured not having grid girls or having a combination of grid girls and grid guys:

        1. With a grand total of 602 votes, a 7% of abstainers, and a 36% in favour of retaining the current status quo (36+7 is awfully close to the 45% directly against it.), it’s hardly a determinant piece of statistics, even more so as we have no clue as to the demographics of it, both in age and geographical/cultural distribution.

          But hey, it can surely look like a club if wielded like one.

          I’d say the Austrian pit girls looked strikingly different in dress, stance, and general behaviour to those on display in Austin, for example, and i distinctly remember seeing the RB drivers in just as traditional costumes there, which in itself is a piece of added showmanship to racing, unilke the drawn-out, glittery, out-of-context stuff displayed on American soil.

          So at the least i’d want to account for such differences in sensitivities and factual role on track of said workers, rather than carpet-bombing the category because of my provincial, narrow-minded view (Bratches, hey there. Ought you not have covered your ladies a bit more first, to assuage such appetites for dignity?) of what their role in Society (Whose, exactly?) ought to be.

        2. @keithcollantine I could also say the results of the very same poll in the very same article is majority of the readers in favor of not stopping using the grid girls or having a combination of grid girls and grid guys.

          Keith, I like reading your article and I appreciate you trying to give a fair view for opinion you against with, but I’d say the worst F1F article is when you make a poll. More specifically the relation between the article title (if it worded as a question sentence), the actual poll question, and the answer options in the poll. At best it can be called ambiguous, and at worst it can be called misleading. I believe you’ve been called about this many times in the past too. FYI, I pick having grid girls and boys in that poll but I refuse to be lumped together with group that saying stopping the use of grid girls. If you want to make a hard divide between grid girls or no grid girls, I’ll lean more on still having grid girls side. I already explain myself in the comments of that article.

          For other people, please read the article, the poll question and answers carefully, read the comments discussion and form your own conclusion.

      2. I think it’s funny you speak of it like it’s cavemen against “progressive” people.

        There are men and women on both sides.


      3. Man that’s just wishfull thinking.I don’t know if it’s totally wrong but:

        My sister went to that star wars movie and thinks it’s garbige .She hasn’t seen any of the previous.My girlfriend doesn’t care about star wars.My mother thinks the first one was the best because it reminds her of childhood,youth.

        Personally i would much rather wath something my girlfriend likes because it’s more relaxing than action.
        But someone might force us to watch action movies with female rambos because it’s empowering women.

    46. My iOS is tripping here but I wanted to add that imho grid girls have nothing to do with career opportunities for women in F1 or elsewhere. And the fact that men are deciding that girls cannot do this anymore is rather ironic.

    47. Merseysidefella
      2nd February 2018, 12:15

      At the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races there are grid girls in hot costumes and no one complains. This is a race for real men and women with feeling and emotion. F1 is becoming a sport for politically correct wimps and Big Dummies, held in generic tracks out in the boondocks.
      Gotta have grid girls and races of cars that have engine philosophy like MotoGP for close competition, and most of the races in Europe and USA.
      Who cares for hybrid MGU-H and all that junk if cars are going to be all-electric anyway very soon?
      In the meantime let´s have some fun with close racing and good looking women to watch.

      1. +1

        The stupid “Grid Kids” idea actually does make sense….F1 is for children now

    48. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd February 2018, 13:01

      What about the podium girls and the girls in the hallway at the end of the race? Are they also gone?

      I hope we don’t have Ross Brawn, Chase Carey and Jean Todt standing there as they are 3 of the most unattractive human specimens you can find on this planet.

      I guess it’s no surprise they are adding the halo next year.

      That’s what happens when you have people on top who can’t appreciate beauty. I think Bernie is right – F1 is about glamour as much as it is about racing.

      My concern is doubled when you consider the race in Austin with the “cheesy” introduction. That’s 2 signs that whoever is at Liberty has no clue what F1 is all about. We may need to quiz Chase Carey on his taste because if you add the moustache to the Halo/Thong, the Grid girls, he might be better improving McDonalds, not F1.

    49. If any sport is so boring that having pretty, mute girls hanging around improves the viewer experience, the sport has bigger problems than whether or not the girls are present.

    50. Thanks Keith! Plent of sides to this story, and in the end, it really won’t matter at all. I just truly feel that ANY decision made for PC reasons is suspect. As to 10 male and 10 female, sure, as soon as there are 10 male drivers and 10 female drivers.

    51. They could have done this silently and nobody would have bated an eye. But no, they are the righteous ones and needed to take that fake moral high ground. This is so artificial that it nauseating.

    52. What is the problem with the grid girls? Most of the F1’s viewer are men, and men like sport cars and girls as well.
      I can’t understand the problem.
      I think most of the F1’s viewers like grid girls and we don’t want to ban grid girls, it is so simple.

    53. The best part about this article and the subsequent comments is the fact that Keith and friends actually believe grid girls are the reason there are no f1 level female racing drivers.

      1. You’re confusing a sole cause (“the reason”) with one contributory factor.

        1. There is no such factor.

          I asked some of my sisters friends and none of them cares about f1.None of my college female friends care about f1 at all.None of these girls would care to watch, let alone drive in f1 for any money.But some of them did modeling.

          Of course there are women that want to be f1 drivers but compared to men there are really few.

          I’m done with f1 but the reason i’m responding is because of the ridiculous situation:

          Feminists say
          -my body, i can do what i want with it.
          Than: -Now you can’t .I’m going to force you to be a f1 driver or engineer.

          They are taking the choice away and that is not modern is more like ww2 germany .

          1. Also would it seem fair to you if i ban your blog and others for the “good” reason of creating more world class writers.

    54. The same guys who decided to get rid of grid girls might develop an uterine replicator and then be able to get rid of women altogether

    55. Let’s ask ourselves, who is actually complaining about the existence of grid girls?

      Is it the grid girls themselves who feel exploited by their profession? As far as I’m aware, no.

      Is it the young girls who really want to be race car drivers but feel that grid girls are holding them back?

      Or are the the people who complain about grid girls far-left virtue signalling men who desperately want the rest of the world to know just how progressive they are?

      1. In the case of PDO darts (which banned walk-on girls earlier this week), it was primarily the broadcasters complaining. The most likely reason for this (though the BBC article on the topic doesn’t pinpoint the reason for the broadcasters’ complaints) would be if the broadcasters believed the walk-on girls were in some way reducing the broadcaster viewing figures or advertising income. Either way, that would decrease the income the broadcasters got from broadcasting PDO, and therefore the amount they would be willing to pay for the rights come renewal time. Since the broadcasters are responsible for much of PDO’s income, it meant scrapping the walk-on girls was expected to indirectly increase profit.

        It would not surprise me if something similar was the real reason F1 is doing this now, rather than, necessarily, the reasons cited.

      2. @keithcollantine

        I would also like to ask Keith why he believes that grid girls is a form of exploitation, while grid kids is not. Are you suggesting that women have less agency than children, Keith?

    56. I didn’t mind grid girls being there and I won’t mind that they’re gone but it did make me wonder about something.
      A lot of men use their physical attributes in order to gain physically orientated work and rightly nobody bats an eye at this. However when it comes to grid girls or page 3 models etc. suddenly their willing utilisation of their physical attributes is problematic, why?

      Additionally I’ve seen former gird girls speaking to the avenues taking that role gave them, such as moving them into PR. Just the other day a former gird girl was talking about how she was the only member of her family interested in motor-sport, had no connections but took the position of grid girl. She made a whole host of connections, enjoyed the job and didn’t feel exploited. She has used this experience and now drifts on tour and does car stunt work.

      Shutting down grid girls is no big deal to me but shutting down avenues of earning money and chances to get into other work is unfair and could cut women out of other careers that branch off of being a grid girl including being a driver (Like the one from the morning show).
      I agree with ideas that empower women and place them higher than an object to behold. But this strikes me as removing particular women’s freedom to choose and closing down opportunity.

    57. In the very first point you claim that “the negative aspects of having grid girls in F1 have been clear for a long time” yet fail to point them out, even in the linked article. Like in many of your forum posts here, I see lots of appeals to emotion but no actual arguments. This is not how a debate should be handled.

    58. I actually lost a few years of life reading this article.

      You can encourage young women as much as you like but the truth is: women aren’t graduating enough in motorsport related qualifications such as engineering, worldwide, even those that don’t watch racing at all. How does removing grid girls help them? You can encourage as much as you like but how does that help reducing the cost of getting into motorsport for people to even think about getting into racing?
      Shouldn’t we “fix” those first before thinking about grid girls? Because it seems like nothing is going to change, for better or for worse.

      WEC and Formula E have shown there is no increase of female viewership even after the removal of grid girls, what makes you think F1 will? It’s nothing more than a baseless assumption. I can also assume women don’t care nor will care about motorsport in general, each gender is attracted to one thing and its quite ok.
      I don’t believe having a job full of just men or women is a problem as long as any person of any gender has a possibility to eventually reach it. Which is why I believe in equality of opportunity not equality of outcome.

      In your ‘argument about exploitation’ you only care about the exploiter’s actions and completely render the actual grid girls’ opinion useless. Maybe its because it doesn’t fit your ideals.

      I have no idea why you actually took time to answer idiotic statements (if it is even real): “This is a decline of Western civilisation. Decline of Europe and its values.”.

      Your only slight good point is the grid girls losing their jobs and even then it’s not entirely right as you use false equivalencies.

      In the end, in my opinion, gird girls aren’t and have never been a problem, just an easy finger to point without having to critically think or address the actual issues.
      As long as you have a proper education any person or young girl can understand that they can do what they wish doing, despite of beautiful girls showing up in their screens or a sport catering to a certain audience. As Le Mans winner race engineer Leena Gade has shown us in her most recent tweets.

      This is a very biased article by someone who clearly favors the removal of grid girls (having previously written an article by it) and non-ironically believes political correctness is a good thing. These kinds of articles should be written by someone who has a neutral position on it or can look at both point of views objectively, not clearly dismissing the other one, so they can reply thoughtfully and create a good debate.

      1. “so they can reply thoughtfully and create a good debate”
        The silence in here is deafening, i’m glad you noticed it too.
        And great post, btw.

    59. Why do people still feel the need to have scantily girls on the grid anyway? I an safely say that grid girls have never made me want to watch F1, I watch because I love the racing. Replacing them with grid kids is amazing. Can you imagine being a small child on the grid, up close to the cars and the drivers?

    60. There are a lot of arguments for and against.
      To each individual I’m sure they both have their own merits. F1 is in far bigger trouble than most people think.
      Targeting grid girls in my opinion is ridiculous. As ridiculous as the rule changes and sanatised tracks never mind the manipulative orchestrated type of racing that we.have been privy to these past few years.
      Do people really think that pleasing the feminists will suddenly increase the viewing power of F1? Or that we will begin to see mass participation from female drivers or team manager applications from the fairer sex.
      And then what? How many years will it take before we have both female and male drivers on equal footing?
      So if that is anytime soon and we all know it’s not.. Will women drivers suddenly feel discriminated against because fans suddenly ditch their Alonsos Verstappens and Hamilton’s in place of female driver with the golden hair and the twickleing eyes not because she was quicker than all the rest but because when she gets out of that car and flicks her hair just so and the camera zooms in so that you can see the small beads of sweat on her soft skin.
      So she walks back to the paddock and you say to yourself no male driver ever filled out an F1 cover all like that.
      Now when did a grid girl ever raise such sexist feelings in any fan.
      Seriously this sport dieing and it will be long dead before any of this happens.

    61. If you go to an automobile or motorcycle presentation you see women. At the beach you see women, at the bar you see women, on the streets you see women, they are all over the place. Why are they no longer welcome at F1?

    62. If you go to an automobile or motorcycle presentation you see women. At the beach you see women, at the bar you see women, they are all over the place. Why are they no longer welcome at F1?

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