Some traditions take a bit longer to end than others. Like grid girls, for example. A longtime staple of F1 grands prix, grid girls add to the spectacle by holding the signs indicating the starting position of each car on the grid. Deemed “sexist,” the practice has come under fire in recent years, leading Formula One management to put an end to it this season.
Or so they thought. According to Motorsport.com, several races may still include grid girls this year. Chief among them will be the Monaco Grand Prix, whose organizers exercise a greater deal of control than others. They’ve insisted that the grid girls (sponsored by TAG Heuer) will still be part of the spectacle this year.
Monaco may not be the only one, however. Organizers of the Singapore and Russian grands prix are also lobbying F1 management to allow the practice to continue at their races.
“It is very true that Russian girls are absolutely beautiful, and if they are not going to be on the grid, it will be a pity for the event and for the TV pictures,” promoter Sergey Vorobyev told Motorsport.com. Referring to the children that are set to replace the often scantily clad women, Vorobyev said, “We’re obviously not against kids. We have a lot of creative options, and we’re in the process of searching. For the audience it’s been a hot topic, and it’s a problem for our sponsors.”
Several races have traditionally dispatched flight attendants from their national airlines as part of the spectacle, especially Singapore. The solution may be to include them in some other fashion, and have kids holding the number signs on the grid as proposed.