F1 looking to make grid girls 'more relevant'

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As they continue to ponder the future of the ubiquitous grid girl, Formula One's managers favour keeping the female presence but in a more relevant role.

The traditional practice of using promotional models as grid girls has been called into question recently, with many believing the eye candy women in F1 are now at odds with progressive trends and only encourage a gender divide in the sport.

Murray Barnett, F1's head of global sponsorship and commercial partnerships, says the issue is under review, but completely axing the women on the grid is an unlikely prospect.

"We’re 100% committed to looking into grid girls and making them a more relevant part of the competition rather than just holding a board and standing next to a car," Barnett told Marketing Week.

"We want to make them fully integrated into the programme and change the perception of what their involvement in the sport is.

"We haven’t quite cracked what this will look like, but we’ve recognised we need to become more progressive there."

Interestingly, Barnett revealed the existence of an ongoing debate within Formula One on whether the sport should launch a women's only F1 series!

"There is a fierce debate about whether we should have a separate female F1 competition or to keep it fully integrated and let women drivers take part in a mixed gender competition like some have done in the past.

"We have a lot of women in senior management positions at F1, so we’re not as bad as you think, but there’s definitely a lot of room to grow."

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