No more female models, Formula One set to be 'in tune' with times

formula 1
Formula One said the motorsport will no longer use grid girls before races. Reuters

Formula One is ending the long-standing practice of using walk-on grid girls before every grand prix. The decision applies to all other motorsports series that take place during the Grands Prix weekends, Formula 1 said in a statement on Wednesday.

The rule will comes into effect from the start of the season in Australia on March 25.

"While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms," Sean Bratches, Managing Director Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said in a statement.

"We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world".

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The use of female models in Formula One sports has received intense criticism for being sexist and outdated in a sport that is now undergoing some changes since Liberty Media took over last year.

U.S. media conglomerate Liberty took over the Formula 1 racing business for $4.4 billion, with the eventual exit of Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Since the acquisition, Liberty is laying more emphasis on entertainment for fans and promotion.

"Formula 1 considers the time spent by teams and drivers on the grid before a race as one of celebration, where guests and various performers can add to the glamour and spectacle of the Grand Prix, enabling promoters and partners to showcase their countries and products," the statement said.

This article was first published on February 1, 2018