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F1 decision to stop use of grid girls draws mixed reaction

Written by  Feb 04, 2018

The decision to drop Formula 1's tradition of grid girls has drawn a mixed reaction from a number of figures with criticising Liberty Media.

F1 bosses cited changes in society as the reason to end the use of models in front of each car before each race, however, many former grid girls have issued rebuttals, pointing out they enjoyed their work and will now lose out because of the decision.

Former CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda have also voiced their unhappiness, with the Austrian believing the opposite message is being sent.

“This is a decision against women,” he was quoted by PlanetF1. “Men have made the decision over the heads of women. This is not doing any favours to F1 and especially not for women.

“How stupid can they be? I hope there is a way to reverse the decision. I wouldn’t mind seeing grid boys next to grid girls. Why not?”

One of the most prominent female figures in the paddock, Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams, has backed the decision, however.

"We have to move with the times," she claimed, talking to the BBC. "[We need to] focus on further improvements that can be made to keep the sport growing and moving forward."

When Susie Wolff became the first female to drive in an official Grand Prix weekend in 22 years in 2014, the debate over the lack of female drivers also picked up, with a proposal for an all women's championship brought up.

Now actively working to increase female participation in motorsport, the Scot also believed the end of grid girls was a step in the right direction.

"I believe so," she said. "Let's take the successful women in the sport and make role models out of them to inspire others.

"Let's get school girls around an F1 show car and allow them to dream.," she added hoping such a move would "increase the talent pool of girls and women entering the sport."

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