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
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 03/02/18 10:57pm
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".
"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.
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?"
2018 F1 RACE CALENDAR - EVERY RACE LIVE ON SKY F1
|March 25||Australian GP||Melbourne|
|April 8||Bahrain GP||Sakhir|
|April 15||Chinese GP||Shanghai|
|April 29||Azerbaijan GP||Baku|
|May 13||Spanish GP||Barcelona|
|May 27||Monaco GP||Monaco|
|June 10||Canadian GP||Montreal|
|June 24||French GP||Le Castellet|
|July 1||Austrian GP||Spielberg|
|July 8||British GP||Silverstone|
|July 22||German GP||Hockenheim|
|July 29||Hungarian GP||Budapest|
|August 26||Belgian GP||Spa-Francorchamps|
|September 2||Italian GP||Monza|
|September 16||Singapore GP||Marina Bay|
|September 30||Russian GP||Sochi|
|October 7||Japanese GP||Suzuka|
|October 21||United States GP||Austin|
|October 28||Mexican GP||Mexico City|
|November 11||Brazilian GP||Sao Paulo|
|November 25||Abu Dhabi GP||Yas Marina|
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