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 12:49 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 12:49 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38569

Reported Deaths: 1511
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12456787
Ramsey4911228
Dakota238291
Stearns237119
Anoka2241109
Nobles16696
Olmsted112915
Washington111440
Mower9522
Rice8447
Scott7344
Clay58738
Kandiyohi5731
Blue Earth4792
Wright4755
Todd4012
Carver3811
Sherburne3175
Lyon3162
Freeborn2920
Watonwan2340
Steele2311
Benton2173
St. Louis18015
Martin1695
Nicollet16912
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12515
Crow Wing10612
Pine1050
Le Sueur1031
Chisago1001
Otter Tail951
McLeod920
Carlton870
Dodge870
Polk822
Chippewa791
Unassigned7837
Isanti730
Waseca680
Douglas650
Itasca6412
Murray640
Meeker611
Morrison591
Becker560
Faribault560
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pipestone522
Pennington510
Renville352
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Brown312
Rock310
Beltrami300
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston260
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood180
Cass162
Roseau160
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Koochiching151
Wadena150
Kanabec141
Grant120
Marshall120
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen91
Clearwater80
Hubbard70
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31670

Reported Deaths: 722
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6638179
Woodbury325244
Black Hawk230158
Buena Vista171411
Johnson13148
Linn129482
Dallas128029
Marshall104919
Scott81510
Story7793
Pottawattamie73612
Wapello70830
Dubuque70222
Crawford6772
Muscatine64344
Sioux4770
Tama46529
Wright3861
Louisa36213
Jasper32517
Plymouth3225
Warren2901
Dickinson2663
Washington2439
Webster2292
Hamilton1891
Cerro Gordo1821
Boone1481
Clay1340
Clarke1322
Allamakee1314
Mahaska11617
Shelby1140
Clinton1121
Poweshiek1068
Carroll991
Pocahontas971
Bremer946
Des Moines922
Franklin900
Emmet880
Henry863
Cedar841
Taylor790
Hardin770
Monona770
Cherokee751
Floyd732
Marion700
Benton691
Guthrie664
Jefferson640
Sac640
Osceola620
Jones610
Butler572
Buchanan551
Humboldt551
Hancock540
Harrison540
Lee542
Calhoun532
Iowa530
Delaware511
Fayette510
Monroe516
Madison482
Clayton443
Lyon440
Davis411
Palo Alto410
Mitchell390
Winneshiek390
Grundy380
Mills370
Kossuth350
Howard340
Jackson320
Lucas314
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Union290
Winnebago290
Ida240
Cass230
Van Buren220
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Page210
Worth200
Unassigned170
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold160
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Broken Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Mason City
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 91°
Albert Lea
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Austin
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Charles City
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Hot, sticky, and stormy
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Dave's Noon Forecast 7/7

Image

Rochester businesses close out of precaution

Image

How did businesses do on the 4th of July with tourism

Image

Stewartville's Will Tschetter commits to Michigan

Image

Covid-19 concerns, Rochester Boys and Girls Club temporarily closes

Image

Looking at the Role of School Resource Officers

Image

Seans 4pm Weather 7/6

Image

Treasury Department unveils relief loans

Image

Mandatory Mask Mandate for Rochester

Image

Approving Cares Act Funding

Community Events