Formula 1 to drop grid girls for 2018

Formula 1 to drop grid girls for 2018

Formula 1 announced Wednesday that it will no longer use "grid girls" in the 2018 championship season.

F1 managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches says the use of the women on the grid is clearly "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".

Former Indian F1 driver, Karun Chandhok tweeted: "Would be a good idea to use the money saved from paying the "grid girls" to make a small investment in getting more female drivers into the sport".

The changes also apply to other motorsports series - such as V8 Supercars and F2 - that take place on GP weekends.

Teams who previously employed groups of glamorous-looking women, often dressed in revealing clothes, in the paddock will also be told they will have to change their approach.

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The motorsport league announced the decision January 31, saying the tradition of having grid girls is outdated. When the decision to downsize F1 vehicle engines in 2014 from normally aspirated V8s to turbocharged V6 motors, there was a furore over the decision that still sees fans bemoan the changes today.

Grid girls walk on the track after the qualifying session for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, April 8, 2017. Those defending the role of grid girl argue among other things that taking the job is a matter of choice.

As a one-off move, race organizers at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2015 replaced "grid girls" with "grid boys" - men in short jeans - a move scoffed at by four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.

"We strongly encourage sports such as cycling, boxing and UFC to follow darts and Formula 1 and reconsider the use of podium girls, ring girls and octagon girls", Women's Sports Trust said in a statement.

For those on Twitter asking how drivers will find their pit position without "grid girls", the Sahara Force India‏ F1 team offered this alternative.

"Why didn't we have any grid girls today?"

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