The Monaco Grand Prix will see the grid girls return to the F1 circus this weekend. Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were quizzed on this in Wednesday’s press conference, their responses mixed.
With organisations such as Dare to be Different targeting how perceptions of women in motorsport need to change in the 21st Century, Monaco’s grid girl reintroduction may be regarded as a defeat in this light. Romain Grosjean echoed this sentiment when asked by The Guardian about grid girls returning for this weekend. Grosjean said:
“It’s busy on the grid anyway, you won’t see much difference. When it was removed, I thought it was a good thing for women in the 21st Century because they were not used as just a board holder. Monaco, always special why not doing something different?”
Grid girls themselves didn’t identify as victims at when the news F1 would stop using them was first announced. In the resulting debates they said they largely enjoyed being paid to promote the sport, something that was touched upon in Hamilton’s response:
“I don’t know how women feel about it. I’ve not really ever spoken to women how they feel about the whole situation. So I can’t really comment. I don’t particularly feel any way about it. 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 – but I definitely don’t think that we should ever be supporting or pushing these women in general to feel uncomfortable. And if they are, then we shouldn’t do it, if they’re comfortable doing it, I mean I don’t really know, I don’t really have an answer for you otherwise.”
Vettel went further to state that he believed the subject had been blown out of proportion.
“Well, I think the whole thing has been blown up, probably unnecessary because I don’t think any of the grid girls in the past were forced to do it. So, I think they enjoyed what they were doing.
“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.”
Charles Leclerc was the final driver to take on the issue. He agreed with the sentiment of the other comments, but also credited the creation of the grid kids too.
“Pretty similar opinion to Seb – but I think it was quite positive to have some girls on the grid to be honest – even though I have a girlfriend so I should not say that maybe, I will get in trouble. But yeah, it’s also good to have some kids. Monaco is very small, so they took also my little cousin that will be on the grid with me. So that will be nice, and I’ve seen how happy he was to be chosen as one of the kids – and it’s great to see that. And it’s a great idea to have kids on the grid also.”
Are you happy to see Monaco bringing grid girls back to F1 this weekend? Let us know what you think in the comments.