Formula One to stop using grid girls amid #MeToo movement

Formula One will end the long-standing practice of using walk-on grid girls before the start of races, starting with next month's season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The move was positively received by several F1 affiliates, like Stuart Pringle, managing director for Britain's Silverstone circuit, who called the use of grid girls "an outdated practice that no longer has a place in sport".

"We feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms", said Sean Bratches, F1's managing director of commercial operations.

'We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world'.

F1 promised to review its use of female models at races at the end of previous year and on Wednesday announced its decision to change its pre-race practices.

F1's decision was applauded by the Women's Sport Trust - a charity raising the visibility and increasing the impact of women's sport.

Boxing and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) both feature "ring girls", who tell the crowd which round is coming up by holding up numbered cards, generally while wearing revealing outfits.

Grid girls
GETTYGrid girls have been a long standing practice in the sport

There will be no more "grid girls" before Formula One races and no more "podium girls" celebrating with the drivers after them.

Following the announcement from the Professional Darts Corporation, a petition was launched to reinstate the girls. In Austria we've had children going on to the drivers' trailer and that has been criticised.

"Thank you @F1 for deciding to stop using grid girls".

Cheerleaders are also used widely in American sports, with teams and franchises having their own professional squads.

At the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was less than impressed with the decision to employ "grid boys" instead of women.

However, Liberty do not agree and today announced that they would be dropping "grid girls" with immediate effect.

  • Jon Douglas