Liberty Media’s decision to stop using grid girls this year didn’t go down well with everyone. In fact, it was so unpopular with Monaco that it reached a special deal to have grid girls for the Monaco GP this year anyway.
Now it seems that Russia wants in on the act too. The race organisers are unhappy at the decision to axe grid girls and are trying to reach a deal to have them back at for the race at Sochi in September. The race’s deputy general director told Motorsport.com:
“We are looking for ways to do things properly, and together with FOM we’re in the process of looking for a solution. It is very true that Russian girls are absolutely beautiful, and if they are not going to be on the grid, it will be a pity for the event and for the TV pictures.
“We’re obviously not against kids. We have a lot of creative options, and we’re in the process of searching. For the audience it’s been a hot topic, and it’s a problem for our sponsors.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak went a step further with a slightly bizarre reason for why children shouldn’t have taken the place of grid girls:
“If we can reach an agreement we will revive this tradition. Moreover, our girls are the most beautiful. It’s wrong at races to lead out children, who are frightened of mechanical things. You need grownups. In all kinds of motorsport, girls advertise the cars and it looks harmonious and pretty.”
It’s not just Russia and Monaco that want grid girls back, though. Apparently, pressure from sponsors is leading other circuits (such as Singapore) to ask Liberty for a special exception to retain grid girls. Looks like it’ll be a while longer yet before they’re completely gone from F1, then…