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Niki Lauda slams 'dumb' grid girl ban for F1

  • Published on 02 Feb 2018 09:13
  • comments 14
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Niki Lauda has slammed Liberty Media's decision to ban grid girls. The F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman told Austria's Der Standard newspaper that the move is "completely incomprehensible". "How dumb can someone be? Women have emancipated themselves and do very well at it," he said. "So this is a decision against women."

Indeed, many actual grid girls have taken to Twitter and the media in the past days to express their disappointment about losing their jobs. Lauda said: "I think it's a great pity to break a tradition such as this, which does formula one but above all women no favours at all."

He said he therefore hopes there is a "way to reverse the decision". "I would not mind seeing grid boys next to the girls. Why not?" Lauda added. He slammed the notion that the existence of 'grid girls' makes it harder for women to succeed in other areas of motor racing. "I want to encourage rather than diminish women," he said. "But once again it is men who have decided over the heads of women."

Kolner Express newspaper also quoted Sebastian Vettel as calling Liberty's grid girls decision "ridiculous". And former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told British media: "These girls did nothing harmful to anybody. I don't remember any of the girls being forced to do anything."

Vicky Valdazo, boss of a Spanish modelling agency that has supplied 'grid girls' to promoters in the past, told Marca newspaper: "It's stupid. It's a job like any other. It's like removing the miners from the mine. Someone has to do it."

Replies (14)

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  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Well you have to give it to the Spanish bloke. That's a great analogy. Without grid girls, the grid can't function.

    • + 0
    • Feb 2 2018 - 09:45
  • reg

    Posts: 162

    Who actually cares whether there are girls on the grid or not, no one!
    In my opinion the worst bit is the stupid line up of embarrassed looking girls along the corridor and stairs when the drivers on the podium go to the cooling-off room.
    Just dumb nonsense that has no bearing on the event and clearly they don't even interest the drivers, let alone us the viewers!

    • + 0
    • Feb 2 2018 - 10:28
    • Well said.

      • + 0
      • Feb 2 2018 - 12:45
    • jimac

      Posts: 30

      the worst bit is the stupid line up of embarrassed looking girls along the corridor and stairs - I like that bit! Only because, in my head, one day one of those girls is going to stick a foot out and trip Seb/Lewis over, which would amuse me.

      • + 0
      • Feb 2 2018 - 14:21
  • samuelw

    Posts: 21

    feel sorry for lasses who actually like f1 and enjoyed the job they did. they were so lucky getting that close to the action compared to others and get paid for it..

    • + 0
    • Feb 2 2018 - 11:32
  • As usual 'The Rat' says it how it is and cuts through the PC bull***t.

    • + 0
    • Feb 2 2018 - 12:16
  • Removing the grid girls is a good thing because (1) it won't have any effect whatsoever on the actual sho and (2) there is a legitimate argument to be made about whether having girls as eye candy is the right way to go. At the very least, F1 is avoiding potential negative publicity which could tarnish their brand over something that doesn't add to the show itself. For those saying "the girls are paid and they choose to be there" That's a stupid argument. Prostitutes, exotic dancers, porn stars, all choose to do what they do. The problem is not that they are being forced to do anything they don't want to. You can always get someone to do just about anything for the right amount of money.

    • + 0
    • Feb 2 2018 - 17:38
    • Today's world says If I don't like it then no one should be able to do it. That is PC dribble. If someone thinks it's bad for these ladies to be grid girls then don't watch. That is what people used to do. But with social media today it allows small groups or even individuals to negatively impact things they shouldn't. I think people that where costumes (stautue of liberty) outside tax businesses and act like idiots to get customers is silly. For that reason, I wouldn't use them. But that doesn't mean I should talk to my local govt and have them banned. Many of these ladies enjoy doing the job. It allows them access to amazing events and they possible meet people that may further their career.

      • + 1
      • Feb 2 2018 - 22:14
    • But the opposite applies too, doesnt it? I like it, therefore it should be there, no matter what anyone else thinks. As for them liking this job is up for debate. Its easy to say you like something so as not to risk losing your job. Its easy to mutter "sjw" with every single change, but maybe this isnt so horrible? And if you want to look at one sassy lady. Hammy is still around. ;)

      • + 2
      • Feb 3 2018 - 00:46
    • dr002

      Posts: 141

      My cousin was a grid girl at the Australian Grand Prix. She said it was all very professional and respectful and she had a great time. I mentioned to her they were going to ban grid girls, and she thought it was stupid, as she put it, "it was my chance to be a part of the weekend"

      • + 0
      • Feb 4 2018 - 02:08
    • Thats fine and all, but shouldnt that be regarded as a negative thing at the same time? That the only way a girl can do something in F1 is to dress up in semirevealing clothes and look good, and even then you hardly get any screentime? Dont get me wrong, skill and capability is more important for F1 then gender equality, but it wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if its things like this that makes the average girl uninterested in F1.

      • + 0
      • Feb 4 2018 - 10:30
  • dr002

    Posts: 141

    ..... Mate, I'm indifferent on the matter, I'll remain an F1 fan regardless of whether they're there or not, but I thought I'd give her a call to see if she had a response to your post.... She loves a laugh, but it doesn't take much to get her fired up, and she didn't disappoint....

    Her response was, "well for a start I'm no average girl" :-), then she basically went on to say that she didn't want to race cars or work in F1, that it was amazing being so close to the cars and all the action, that she mainly hung out with the other girls, that what she was asked to wear was tasteful and was in no way revealing, that the people she met were amazing, that gender equality is about having choice not being put in a box and is about being able to make a decision for herself not having some corporate bloke tell her what is or isn't appropriate, that it was a fantastic opportunity, and that she'd do it again 'for sure' (she was even aware that saying 'for sure' was a running joke in the paddock).

    ..... Can't keep everyone happy I suppose.......

    • + 0
    • Feb 4 2018 - 11:56
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 501

      ✅✔️☑️

      • + 0
      • Feb 4 2018 - 16:58
  • fzrniko

    Posts: 11

    Who wants to see hairy euro broads anyhow? Yikes!

    • + 0
    • Feb 6 2018 - 05:57

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