Formula One has announced that it will stop using Grid Girls for the upcoming 2018 season.
The tradition of using Grid Girls to stand in front of the cars and hold the drivers’ flags and/or race numbers has been long standing in Formula One. Bosses have tried other approaches in recent years, such as at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, where ‘Grid Guys’ took the place of the usual Grid Girls.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 says using Grid Girls is no longer ‘appropriate’:
“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
The announcement has been met with criticism from some online, while other have applauded bosses for putting an end to what they consider to be an out-dated tradition. In a poll on the Lights Out Twitter account, 54% of voters disagreed with the decision.
No more Grid Girls in #F1. Is it the right decision?
— Lights Out ●●●●● (@LightsOutF1Blog) January 31, 2018
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.