FORMULA ONE have sensationally axed grid girls — just days after darts announced they were ditching walk-on models.
The Sun reports the most glamorous sport in the world has decided to end decades of using models to provide added colour to their races.
When the new season begins in Australia in March grid girls will be absent as the sport’s American owners Liberty Media looks to keep up with the growing clamour not to objectify women.
It comes at the end of week which has seen Kelly Brook hit out at the decision of darts to axe using walk-on girls.
Brook blasted darts bosses for caving in to “snowflakes” as she defended the right for women to work as models and walk-on girls.
The Professional Darts Corporation last week decided to end the long-established practice of women escorting male players to the stage.
Formula One bosses claim they have been looking at ways of bringing the sport into line with others in terms of equality, and Ross Brawn, F1 managing director of motorsports, said in December that using gird girls was “under strong review”.
Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One, claimed the move was more in keeping with the sport’s long term planning.
Mr Bratches said: “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 One 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 One and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
The sight of grid girls has been a long tradition in F1 although they were dropped for “grid boys” at the 2015 Monaco GP — yet that proved a one-off.
However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, said grid girls added glamour to F1.
In November, he said: “We’ve had grid boys and that’s been criticised. In Austria we’ve had children going on to the drivers’ trailer and that has been criticised.
“You are never going to get it right and we live in a modern society and we have to be open to everything.
“Women play a key role and, borrowing a phrase from my wife, girl power is very strong in F1.
“In our team we have a lot of women in senior positions and they are doing a tremendous job.
“Look at Claire Williams — new mum and combining that with running the Williams team.”
Liberty’s decision to drop grid girls comes after the World Endurance Championship also ditched the practice in 2015.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission