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Believe it or not, F1 is debating the future of grid girls!


They bring glitz and glamour to Formula 1 but the ubiquitous grid girls could soon be on their way out as the sport questions their very existence.

One would believe that F1's top brass would not put the topic at the top of its list of priorities, but apparently the matter is now under review.

A tradition and fixture in motor racing since the early days of commercial sponsorship in F1, the use of grid girls, or promotional models, has apparently come up against the 'politically correct' gender defenders who consider the young women's presence as a demeaning anachronism.

"We're trying to respect all parties," F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn told BBC Radio 5 live, who labeled grid girls a "delicate topic".

"There's a lot of people who respect the tradition of the grid girls, and there's people who feel that it has become a bit dated, so we're addressing that."

In 2015, to comply with social attitude changes, Monaco experimented with grid boys, but F1 and its drivers gave the concept an unequivocal thumbs down.

F1 CEO Chase Carey admits he wasn't expecting the subject to come to the fore.

On the list of things I have been dealing with, grid girls wasn't really up there on top, with all respect," says Carey.

"Is it something from the past, or is it something distinct that should be part of the future?

"I don't think it will be a personal decision for me. I may have a point of view but, when you have a sport, you are dealing with teams and a large eco-system and a large fanbase that is very passionate. There is never going to be a consensus, but a set of views."

Red Bull's Christian Horner who, as everyone knows, is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, believes an open mind should prevail, and underlined women's prominent presence in F1 at many levels of the sport.

"We've had grid boys and that's been criticised," he said.

"In Austria we've had children going on to the drivers' trailer and that has been criticised. You are never going to get it right and we live in a modern society and we have to be open to everything.

"Women play a key role and, borrowing a phrase from my wife, girl power is very strong in F1," he said.

"In our team we have a lot of women in senior positions and they are doing a tremendous job. Look at Claire Williams - new mum and combining that with running the Williams team."

In other words, Formula 1 is more than just a man's world...

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