STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Lewis Hamilton & Sebastian Vettel back return of 'beautiful' grid girls

Female models will back on the grid at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, though they won't be holding placards displa...

Posted: May 24, 2018 1:49 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 1:49 PM

Female models will back on the grid at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, though they won't be holding placards displaying driver numbers.

Instead they will be taking pictures and displaying messages on social media for a luxury watch brand.

Female models to return at Monaco Grand Prix

Drivers Hamilton and Vettel express support

Hamilton stresses opposition to "pushing" women into the role

Formula One's new owners Liberty Media had previously said "grid girls" were "clearly at odds with modern day societal norms," ending a practice that had been a staple of the sport for decades, though Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel offered a different slant.

"I think women are the most beautiful thing in the world," Hamilton told reporters Wednesday, after organizers confirmed TAG Heuer would continue its longstanding promotional arrangement with the race.

"When we pull up to the grid and there's beautiful women on the grid, that's the Monaco Grand Prix, that's a lovely thing."

Rival driver Vettel chimed in, contending the furore around grid girls was unnecessarily "blown up" and a symptom of the modern age.

"I agree with Lewis, I like women, I think they look beautiful," said Vettel, adding he was "just not interested" by males occupying the role.

"Bottom line, I think it's too much of a fuss nowadays," the German continued. "I think all the women that took part as a grid girl in the past did it because they want to. I'm sure if you ask any grid girl on Sunday if they're happy to stand there, their answer will be yes.

"I don't think there's anybody that forces them to do it. So, it speaks a little bit for our times that sometimes there's a lot of noise for nothing."

Should 'grid girls' return to Formula One? Have your say on CNN Sport's Facebook page

'Grid models'

The "grid kids" introduced this season -- young karters elected by motorsport clubs or "lottery" -- will still be present on the streets of Monte Carlo.

It's also not the first race this season to feature a promotional presence -- with both the Bahrain and China Grand Prix featuring air hostesses.

But the news has nonetheless provoked outcry on social media.

"Very disappointing that F1 went back on a principle," Tweeted @KarlaGeorge. "Retrograde step in my opinion."

"The use of grid girls is a very obvious example of how our society objectifies, undervalues and undermines young women," posted @Anthonyhett. "If true equality can ever be reached, these things need to stop."

The issue has been divisive ever since Formula One announced the end of the practice earlier this year.

For 25-year-old Melissa James, a promotional model for eight years, becoming a Formula One "grid girl" was the pinnacle of her career.

READ: 'We're made out to be so vulnerable, we're not,' says former F1 'grid girl'

"They say we need protection and that we're so vulnerable -- we're not," she told CNN Sport, protesting the eradication of her "dream job."

Another former "grid girl," Rebecca Cooper, called the bans "political correctness gone mad."

"If we don't do something to stop this where will it end? No grid girls, no cheerleaders, female singers being told what to wear on stage, no models in magazines?!" she tweeted in January 2018. "I'll fight for my right to choose what I wear, where I work and to keep a job I love."

Hamilton conceded he'd never asked grid girls how they felt, but stressed his opposition to "pushing" women into the role.

"I've not really ever spoken to women about how they feel about the whole situation," said the four-time world champion.

Visit CNN.com/motorsport for more news and features

"I definitely don't think that we should ever be supporting or pushing these women to feel uncomfortable. And if they are, then we shouldn't do it."

Haas driver Romain Grosjean said he thought the removal of grid girls had been "good thing for women in the 21st century, because they were not used as just a board holder."

TAG Heuer did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

West Lafayette
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 78°
Fowler
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 84°
Williamsport
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 80°
Crawfordsville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 80°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 80°
Delphi
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Once more pleasant day before we see changes with an increase in heat and humidity, and thunderstorm chances.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749835

Reported Deaths: 13752
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031281779
Lake555181006
Allen41642691
St. Joseph36959564
Hamilton36537416
Elkhart29373459
Tippecanoe22871224
Vanderburgh22544400
Porter19339325
Johnson18412388
Hendricks17594317
Clark13202193
Madison13128344
Vigo12606253
LaPorte12400221
Monroe12175175
Delaware10949198
Howard10270225
Kosciusko9615119
Hancock8556145
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7775180
Grant7230179
Wayne7158201
Boone6922103
Morgan6742141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6208116
Cass5997109
Henry5894108
Dearborn589078
Noble580287
Jackson508774
Shelby500897
Lawrence4735121
Gibson444293
Harrison441073
Clinton440455
DeKalb438985
Montgomery434890
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399359
Miami392968
Jasper387054
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330853
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286685
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange273072
Scott269955
Clay266048
Washington245034
Randolph244683
Jennings235249
Spencer234231
Starke227858
Fountain219147
Sullivan214043
Owen211258
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187037
Rush175726
Vermillion174044
Franklin170235
Tipton166046
Parke149016
Pike138134
Blackford136132
Pulaski120347
Newton113036
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101114
Martin91615
Warren83615
Switzerland8108
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events