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Grid girls will not feature in Formula 1 from 2018 season

Walk-on models dropped for new season as F1 bosses "don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant" for the sport and its fans

Grid girls will no longer feature in Formula 1 from the start of the 2018 season.

The sport announced the move ahead of the new campaign, which begins in March, after deciding that the long-standing practice is "clearly at odds with modern-day societal norms".

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"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," said F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches.

"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."

Grid girls and promotional models have been a permanent presence at F1 grands prix for decades and are most associated with holding the marker boards for each driver in front of grid slots.

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They also routinely form guards of honours for drivers on the way to the pre-race track parade and post-race podium.

F1's announcement follows a similar move by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), who have ended the practice of using walk-on girls to accompany players with immediate effect.

F1's bosses revealed before Christmas that the use of grid girls was under review amid a series of changes they are looking to make to the look and feel of the sport.

The decision to abandon the concept from 2018 has been welcomed by the UK's Women's Sport Trust, who tweeted: "Thank you @F1 for deciding to stop using grid girls. Another sport making a clear choice about what they want to stand for."

At the Monaco GP in 2015, F1 used male models to stand on the grid in a one-off change but the move was criticised by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel who said: "You get there and park behind George or Dave. What's the point?"


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