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Why was the practice of F1 Grid Girls banned? Will they make a return? 

Read all about the customary practice of hiring "grid girls" for Grand Prix's in the F1 Calendar, and why this practice was abolished in 2018.

Formula One, much like many other motorsports events, used to employ grid girls who were tasked with parading the pit lane and the starting grid and conduct promotional tasks. They used to wear clothes bearing the names of sponsors and accompany drivers to the podium. Quite a few grid girls have gone on to become household names in the modelling industry.

However, at the start of the 2018 F1 season, a few years after Liberty Media bought the controlling interest inthe Formula One Group, Formula One decided to scrap the rule about grid girls once and for all.

The Formula One management explained their actions by stating that they were trying to make the sport equal for all. The managing director of commercial operations at Formula One, Sean Bratches commented: “While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grand Prix’s for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.

He further said, “We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”

This was a hugely controversial move with a lot of people advocating for both the sides. Some people, criticizing the move, claimed that this was nothing but a distraction from the wider workplace war that women were fighting in. The other people supporting the move claimed that it’s better to remove any jobs that objectified women and the job of being a grid girl did that to a large extent.

There is a high chance the grid girls will return to F1 in near future

Grid Girls in the Monaco Grand Prix

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Even though almost all of the race organizers stood by F1 in their decision to ban grid girls, there was one glaring exception. Monaco, which hosted the 6th race of the 2018 F1 season, brought back Grid Girls as the organizers in Monaco disagreed with Formula One’s move and didn’t give in to their demands.

The President of the Automobile Club of Monaco, Michel Boeri, in an interview with a local newspaper said that “We’ve had no problems with Liberty Media, except for the grid girl issue. They’ll be there, on the grid.

They’re pretty, and the cameras will be on them once again.”

Grid girls were thus seen again in the Monaco GP, even after they were “banned”. Soon after this decision was announced, Russia followed suit. They joined hands with Monaco to appeal to F1 to allow grid girls.

Thus it’s quite evident that if race organizers want the grid girls to be back and if they have some good support on their side, which they do, then there’s a possibility that we might see grid girls again in Formula One.

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