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Carey defends grid girls move

NEWS STORY
09/02/2018

Amidst the continuing row over Formula One's decision to do away with grid girls and replace them with grid kids, perhaps our old friend, former McLaren communications boss, Matt Bishop, sums it up best.

"Here's a tip from an experienced #F1 PR man (moi)," he tweeted earlier this week following F1's announcement that it was to adopt the practice of using grid kids. "If you'd announced this BEFORE letting it be known that #gridgirls had been axed, you'd have copped a lot less grief than you did. #JustSayin."

And as former grid girls dismiss claims that they were used and objectified, not to mention being put out of work at the behest of others, mostly women, the sport does appear to have got itself into a fine old pickle.

Speaking to newspaper reporters, F1 boss Chase Carey admits that while he personally saw nothing wrong with grid girls, many felt it was time to move on.

"I think the reaction has been what we expected," admitted the American. "Unsurprisingly, many long-term fans view it as part of the sport they grew up with and I respect that.

"Actually if you just left it up to me, personally, I like the grid girls," he said. "But it's not a decision for me, it's a decision for fans.

"We're going to maintain glamour," he insisted. "We're going to continue to have pretty girls at races. I think it's part of life, and it's a part of what makes our sport special. It is a sport of glamour and of mystique. But I think you have to continue to evolve. In today's world there are obviously different sensitivities to ten or twelve years ago. I don't think you can just be stubborn."

While accepting the decision and going along with Carey's claim that the move was primarily "a decision for fans", over the years we at Pitpass cannot recall a single email from a fan, or witnessed a post on other sites or social media, complaining that their waning interest in the sport was down to the objectification and exploitation of grid girls, rather the failure to get to grips with the real business of the day, the racing.

Indeed, putting aside what some might see as a sexist reference to "pretty girls", many fans would like to see some pretty cars, cars with individuality and designer flair, as opposed to the lookalikes the sport is restricted to these days.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 09/02/2018 20:57

"Great article and spot on. "

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2. Posted by Rock Doc, 09/02/2018 18:04

"Let's have the drivers replace them. Then when the lights go out they all run back to their cars, jump in and off they go, just like the good old days. That would really shake up the grid each and every race.

Just a thought."

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3. Posted by Amspeed, 09/02/2018 15:14

"In typical American fashion this was a decision that was ill-conceived and hurriedly announced, with very little forethought. Here in the States, as indeed increasingly in the U.K., many of these decisions are emotional and are based on being politically-correct, often pandering to minorities at the expense of pleasing the majority.
But Formula One is not American nor is it British. It is International. Perhaps any decision regarding 'Grid Girls' or 'Grid Kids' should be left up to each individual promoter. What works in America or the U.K. might not work so well in, for example, Azerbaijan, China, Russia, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi. And vice versa. Formula One lends itself to many different cultures - societal, religious, and economic, and should perhaps try to recognize and cater to these fundamentals before being all gung-ho about what is right or wrong. Sure, Western Influence is all prevalent but as Messrs. Carey and Bratches try to spread the wings of the sport to more corners of the globe, Vietnam for example, the way each race is presented and sold cannot be based on one-size-fits-all.
Most countries appreciate the glamour of Formula One and, indeed, 'Grid Girls' are not seen as exploitative in
any of these markets - except, it seems, America (the country that gave us the 'Cheerleader'). As for this being a 'decision for fans', if this is truly the case, then perhaps Liberty Media can allow us to also influence the technical regulations so that we 'fans' can finally start seeing and hearing the cars that should truly represent Formula One. "

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4. Posted by Ro, 09/02/2018 15:03

"Nah, I think that the "Grid Gals" should be replaced by men with ridiculous moustaches !"

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5. Posted by Chris Roper, 09/02/2018 14:39

"Would the Fan who complained please step forward.
We have a few other ideas we would like you to put to him."

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6. Posted by Editor, 09/02/2018 14:00

"Or nephews"

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7. Posted by nonickname, 09/02/2018 13:57

"Wouldn't be great if the driver's partners took up the umbrellas?
That would be one in the eye for 'Carey on' idiots.
To start with they are all great looking and should relish the chance to show how much the care for their men. Any comments Fernando ???"

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