MADRID – The use of so-called grid girls, promotional female models whose principal job was to join Formula 1 drivers during podium celebrations, is to become a thing of the past as it no longer resonates with the brand, the organization said Wednesday.
In a statement, Formula 1 announced that the end of the practice would be applicable to all of its motorsports competitions during the 2018 championship, which kicks off with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25.
“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,” said Sean Bratches, managing director at Formula 1’s commercial operations.
“We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world,” he added.
Grid girls were traditionally employed at Formula 1 events to promote sponsors by carrying out several tasks such holding up information boards and accompanying drivers to the podium at the end of the race.
“Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” Bratches added.