Ex-F1 chief thinks series needed grid girls to help drivers to find their cars

From The Marbles
Bernie Ecclestone was the boss of Formula 1 until it was purchased by Liberty Media. (Getty Images)
Bernie Ecclestone was the boss of Formula 1 until it was purchased by Liberty Media. (Getty Images)

Bernie Ecclestone thinks Formula 1’s decision to eliminate “grid girls” from the track before races and on the podium after races could mean drivers can’t find their cars before races.

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The 87-year-old eccentric (to put it mildly) former boss of Formula 1 is, unsurprisingly, not a fan of Thursday’s announcement of the models’ removal.

“Sponsors wanted to see the people that represented them very smartly dressed, which is what they did,” he told Sky News. “I thought people enjoyed seeing the girls and they were necessary really because when a driver wants to get on to the grid it’s much better and easier for them to know their place where they need to stop.”

Apparently Ecclestone doesn’t think a sign could stand up on its own?

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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There’s understandably been some public frustration among women who make money contracting as models for auto races. There are likely lots of women who would like to have a job as a model at a Formula 1 race and the series’ decision eliminates that avenue.

But in a sport like auto racing where women have the opportunity to compete with men, the tradition of grid girls is more awkward than, say, cheerleaders at an NBA or NFL game.

And in Ecclestone’s Formula 1, grid girls would have undoubtedly been around in 2018. But with new owners Liberty Media — who took over in 2017 — in charge, it’s different. While there may be some unhappy people about the decision now, our guess is that once the racing gets started people will move on to other racing-related topics.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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