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Grid girls are the least of F1's problems

NEWS STORY
15/12/2017

Announcing a full complement of members, Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Alex Wurz took the opportunity to reveal drivers numerous concerns for the sport and the direction it appears to be taking under its new ownership.

While the GPDA and its members expressed concern at the increasing use of asphalt run-off areas and the resultant abuse of track limits, the difficulty in overtaking, the rise of Pay-TV, the over-regulation of the sport, the lack of noise from the hybrid power units, the disparity in team budgets and even camera angles, there was no mention of grid girls.

Indeed, in the same way that the GPDA failed to point out the use of grid girls as an area of concern, we are pretty sure that had the association voiced its fears just a few weeks ago, the (old) F1 logo wouldn't have got a mention.

The use of female promotional models is a "delicate topic" which is "under strong review", Ross Brawn told BBC Radio 5 live.

"We're trying to respect all parties," he added. "There's a lot of people 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."

"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," added Chase Carey.

These comments from Brawn, effectively the technical boss of F1, and Carey, the sport's new 'commander in chief', come days after it was confirmed that overtaking in 2017 was down around 50% on 2016. Indeed, they come days after Brawn admitted that he fears another year (or two) of Mercedes domination.

While FOM slaps itself on the back in terms of its race attendance figures, which according to the data released show an increase of 8% on 2016, the TV viewing figures are remarkable by their absence. Funny that.

Even Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle has got in on the act, claiming that "lycra can stay in the 1970s and 80s for me, I don't want any of that tarty nonsense".

Of course, one could point out to Mr Pringle that having opted out of its contract to host the British Grand Prix after 2019, his beloved Silverstone currently only has two more years to worry itself over such "tarty nonsense".

Indeed, with the British Grand Prix race attendance down by 5,500 (1.6%) this year, according to FOM, one wonders how many of those missing 5,500 stayed away due to being concerned at those lycra clad grid girls and how many stayed away due to the lack of overtaking, the continued domination by Mercedes, high ticket prices and the various other factors listed by the GPDA.

And talking of Britain - the country in which 8 of the 10 teams are based, including Germany's Mercedes, Austria's Red Bull and not forgetting Haas - from 2019 live F1 coverage won't even be available on free-to-air.

Rather than grid girls it is the dreaded grid penalties that the sport should be concerning itself with, especially as the three-engine limit - not to mention Toro Rosso's partnership with Honda - soon kicks in.

Yet again, just like the F1 logo, this appears to be a smoke and mirrors bid to take our eyes off the ball, the rearranging of deckchairs on Titanic ahead of the row that is about to explode when Liberty reveals its plans for the redistribution of prize money.

The fact is that unless the major issues are addressed - and addressed soon - there will be nobody watching and therefore nobody likely to be offended (or not) by lycra clad women and their "tarty nonsense".

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1. Posted by Your Mom's Best Friend, 17/12/2017 5:35 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 17/12/2017 9:19)

"Just when one thinks that it can't possibly descend further into farce than it already is...

I won't bother quoting Carey, because everything that that guy says is stupid. But Brawn, when questioned about this should have just kept his fat gob shut. He could have acted as though he were unaware of this "issue" or better yet, responded with something along the lines of "I think that this might be Mr. Bratches' department..."

OK, so my suggestion amounts to no more than buck-passing. But isn't that standard operating procedure for all of these fools anyway ?

In all seriousness, it seems to me that at the majority of F1 events the "grid girls" are actually rather modestly attired. And I'm not just referring to the middle eastern races. It's not like it's the Budweiser bikini team we're talking about here.

"... rearranging of deck chairs on Titanic" indeed."

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2. Posted by Toado, 16/12/2017 22:29

"There are precious few girls in the paddock, why on earth would you get rid of the good looking ones? "

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3. Posted by Anthony, 15/12/2017 19:40

"I'm astonished that anyone would think that there are more important issues than whether the grid girls continue to be part of the build up to the race ......."

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4. Posted by nonickname, 15/12/2017 19:03

"Ah MotoGP. Hotter racing,no halo's,hotter pit girls."

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5. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 15/12/2017 12:56

"So what did Bernie say to Slavica? When I'm lying down, I'm taller than anyone else?"

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6. Posted by BobW, 15/12/2017 12:54 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 17/12/2017 9:19)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

7. Posted by Editor, 15/12/2017 12:44 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 17/12/2017 9:19)

"@ Stitch431

Re: "there are many girls who consider it an honor to be abe to show themselves dressed like this at the race weekends, as many of them catch themselves a wealthy husband like this ;-)"

Which is exactly how Slavica snared Bernie at Monza all those years ago"

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8. Posted by Stitch431, 15/12/2017 11:09

"And! Apart of the ongoing witch hunt in worldwide media at the moment (as a guy you are already convicted for looking at a girl nowadays ...), there are many girls who consider it an honor to be abe to show themselves dressed like this at the race weekends, as many of them catch themselves a wealthy husband like this ;-)"

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9. Posted by ryanhellyer, 15/12/2017 11:05

"The grid girls have been cringe worthy since I first started watching F1 in the 90's. They're an unpleasant throwback to a creepier time. Not only should they be gone, but they should have been gone a lot time ago.

They can tend to all of these things at the same time, so I don't see how this is related to the various other issues which need addressed."

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10. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 15/12/2017 8:47

"Oh for goodness' sake. In comparison, the pit girls are a model of decorum and rectitude, and one of the few reasons to keep watching F1. It's the cars, governing bodies and rules that are slimy and tarty. "

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