Team bosses have now come out to defend the concept of ‘grid girls’ in Formula 1. F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn has recently said that the practice of having attractive women fulfil the role as ‘grid girls’ is under review and reactions from drivers and officials quickly came. Max Verstappen insisted last week: “The grid girls must stay”, while Nico Hulkenberg added: “It would be a pity if they took the eye-jewellery from the grid.”
Italian-Canadian executive and Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne joined the fray this week by supporting the idea of grid girls, and now his Italian colleague Maurizio Arrivabene says that he agrees: “Grid girls were an integral part of Formula 1 for many years. I think Ross Brawn has more complex and important things to take care of.” – the current team principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team explained, as reported earlier today by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport.
Niki Lauda told Austrian broadcaster Servus TV: “The emancipation of women is perfectly right, and in fact they are in the process of overtaking us. But why should they not be allowed to stand on the grid anymore?” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko said of the proposal grid girl ban: “I just cannot imagine that. In America, cheerleaders appear before, during and after every game so I see no reason why this should not be done in Formula 1. I think we have other worries.”
The 2015 Monaco Grand Prix saw grid boys stand in for their female counterparts, as Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel was no fan of the “grid boy” concept that debuted at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix grid. “What was that?!” Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel said, referring to the absence of grid girls, as they were all replaced by male models wearing short jeans and white sandshoes – “You get there and park behind George or Dave, what’s the point?” – the four-time Formula One world champion added.
At that time it is reported that the decision to replace the girls for boys was made by the Monaco race promoters.