F1 to stop using grid girls

Formula One will stop using grid girls with immediate effect, arguing the custom is "clearly at odds with modern-day societal norms".

Grid girls at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

Grid girls will no longer be used prior to Formula One races, the sport's organisers have confirmed.

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) announced last week that they would no longer use walk-on girls, following discussions with broadcasters.

F1 will now follow suit, having stated the custom is "clearly at odds with modern-day societal norms".

A statement on F1's official website read: "Formula 1 will end the long-standing practice of using walk-on grid girls, commencing with the start of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season. These changes also apply to our other motorsports series that take place during the grands prix weekends.

"Formula 1 considers the time spent by teams and drivers on the grid before a race as one of celebration, where guests and various performers can add to the glamour and spectacle of the Grand Prix, enabling promoters and partners to showcase their countries and products."

Sean Bratches, F1's managing director, commercial operations, added: "Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport.

"While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 grands prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms. We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world."

The decision was welcomed by the Women's Sport Trust, who had called on other sports to follow darts' lead by ceasing to use walk-on girls.

"Thank you @F1 for deciding to stop using grid girls," the UK charity tweeted. "Another sport making a clear choice about what they want to stand for."

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