There was a lot of furore around Liberty Media’s and Formula One’s decision to ban the practice of having grid girls. Now, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone slams the decision of the sport. Previously, a grid girl would be stationed at each grid position before the race. They would be holding a sign with the relevant driver’s name and number on it. However, Liberty Media confirmed that they have ditched the idea. They believe that the practice “does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms”.
But Ecclestone believes that the decision is misguided. He said, “The country at the moment is getting a bit prudish. You should be allowed to have grid girls because the drivers like them, the audience like them and no one cares. These girls were part of the show, part of the spectacle. I can’t see how a good-looking girl standing with a driver and a number in front of a Formula 1 car can be offensive to anybody. They are all nicely dressed. I would think people like Rolex and Heineken wouldn’t have girls there who weren’t presentable. I thought we had forgotten about girls not being able to do guys’ jobs and girls being able to do guys’ jobs. I thought we were all the same.”
Formula 1 commercial director, Sean Bratches said that yesterday’s decision was not a knee-jerk reaction, instead a carefully calculated move. Bratches said, “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. 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. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”