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Volume 6 No. 211
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Formula 1 Looking Into Whether To Continue Using 'Grid Girls'

Liberty Media is looking into whether Formula 1 should continue to use "grid girls," according to the BBC. F1 Managing Dir Ross Brawn said that the use of female promotional models is a "delicate topic" which is "under strong review." He said, "We're trying to respect all parties. There's a lot of people who respect the tradition of the grid girls and there's people who feel that it has become a bit dated, so we're addressing that." F1 CEO Chase Carey said, "What we need to do is get as many points of view as possible and make a decision right for the future of the sport." Grid girls are models "used to conduct certain promotional tasks, usually wearing clothing that bears the name of a sponsor." Among their duties in F1 are "holding umbrellas or driver name-boards on the grid, and lining the corridor through which the drivers walk on their way to the podium." Their use has become the "subject of debate as social attitudes have changed." Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that grid girls "add glamour" to the sport but added, "We've had grid boys and that's been criticized. In Austria, we've had children going on to the drivers' trailer and that has been criticized. You are never going to get it right and we live in a modern society and we have to be open to everything." Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said that he thought grid girls were "pretty cool" and he did not see "any downside." Ricciardo: "It's what you grew up with. I guess as a kid even, you see the umbrella girls, the grid girls. It's part of the attraction of the sport." Silverstone Managing Dir Stuart Pringle said that his personal view is the practice is "outdated," adding, "Lycra can stay in the 1970s and '80s for me, I don't want any of that tarty nonsense" (BBC, 12/14).