Is it progress or just an empty gesture?

It goes without saying that Formula 1 (and indeed, pretty much all of motorsport in general) is completely dominated by men. From the drivers, to the teams, to the people running the show, it’s pretty much a sausage fest through and through out there. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but on balance, I’d say we’re a long way from gender equality in racing. Now, Formula 1 is taking steps to get a little more in step with the times, and will ditch the grid girls starting with the 2018 season.

“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,” said Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1, Sean Bratches. “While our practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grand Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”

Last year, the U.S. behemoth Liberty Media purchased Formula 1’s commercial rights and started shifting things around. Bernie Ecclestone got the boot, and F1’s administration got a thorough reworking.

Granted, getting rid of the grid girls won’t do anything for gender equality, but it does address part of Formula 1’s cultural stagnation. On the other hand, you could see the move as no more than an empty gesture to appear more “modern.”

What do you think?

The 2018 Formula 1 season kicks off March 25th in Melbourne.

References

Inside a Formula 1 Car High Resolution Exterior
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Source: Formula 1

Image credit: By ph-stop from Canada (I prefer the LHS) CC BY-SA 2.0

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