Ecclestone laments 'prudish' end of Formula One grid girls

05 February, 2018, 06:23 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Lauda calls for F1 to reverse grid girl decision

Formula One is a sort of modern-day version of the medieval tourney, a celebration of masculine bravery and strength by its latter-day knights - the son of the head of the Habsburg family is, funnily enough, a racing driver - and just as the tourneys of the later middle ages had a glamorous, sexual atmosphere, with lovely women presenting prizes to the most gallant champions, so modern motor racing has had a similar feel.

Last Wednesday Formula 1 announced that it was ending the practice of using grid girls.

The ageing former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was in charge of the sport for decades and continuously worked to increase the sport's exposure through numerous means, agreed with Lauda.

"This is a decision against women", Lauda told Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

I find myself reaching that point in regards to the abolition of Formula One grid girls, a tradition that is no longer "relevant" to the sport and how it wishes to be portrayed; which is presumably as an egalitarian, environmentally friendly and incorrupt cultural event which does not at all attract the worst rich people on earth. Let's get school girls around an F1 show auto and allow them to dream.

Earlier this week Liberty Media chose to drop the grid girls from Formula 1. "These girls were part of the show, part of the spectacle", the 87-year-old was quoted as saying by the Sun.


Explaining the schedule change for Europe and Brazil, it read: "Research has indicated that a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoons, especially in the summer months".

"We're glad to welcome F1 to the 21st century".

"Let's take the successful women in the sport and make role models out of them to inspire others".

"Women are stepping up [into senior roles], and they are doing it very well - it is moving in the right direction. We all shout about the vote and the ladies who fought for it and I want us all to remember that" she declared, while also noting that her grid girl experience gained her other modelling assignments. Where is the equality & empowerment here?

Lauda argued that the use of grid girls had no bearing on the perception of women in motorsport.

Rebecca Cooper, for example, questioned the notion that Grid Girls were exploited for their sexuality and wondered why women can't decide for themselves what to wear.

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