OllieF1
Ladies, Get Ready To Say Hello To The Grid Boys

Ladies, Get Ready To Say Hello To The Grid Boys

Formula One, it’s a bit of old mans club really isn’t it? I mean, let’s be honest, it’s run by a bunch of old men in tweed jackets who like watch a load of expensive cars race and then talk shop over a brandy and cigar in the paddock club afterwards. And to a degree, this perception is true, or at least it certainly was not too long ago. But Formula One is definitely changing. As the sport enters new markets, as the old chiefs make way for the new, F1 is being thrust once again into the limelight. And if the sport is to remain in the headlines, it can’t have brolly-dollies on the grid with no sign of their male counterparts. Formula One it seems, is about to get grid boys.

The Australian Grand Prix, marking the start of the 2008 Formula One season in March, will the first race in the series to have male and female, erm, grid slot indicators?. To be honest I don’t really know what they’re called or even meant to do, so for now, they’ll be known has GSIs. The idea behind using both ladies and gentlemen is part of encouraging the wider appeal of the sport, particularly as it seems to be increasing in popularity among the fairer sex.

What’s more, the Australian race promoters are scouring the Melbourne suburbs for the 26 individuals who will be present on the grid for the Grand Prix, encouraging would-be GSIs by suggesting that many previous have gone on to have successful careers in modelling and acting, apparently. The event organisers are holding a casting session at Melbourne’s Fusion at Crown this Thursday at Midday.

Eddie Irvine once said he would often talk to his brolly-dolly. I wonder if he would have done so had they been male…?

Oliver White

9 comments

  • kind sir, i would appreciate it if you’d run a poll to see if anyone actually wants this.

    am thinking it’s more pc nonsense to grab a headline or three, but if there’s anyone out there who’s really looking forward to this, i’m happy to be proved wrong.

  • Well, at least you can’t blame the old fogies for this! Good grief, in my day the idea would have been laughed out of court.

    And then we’d have put our tweed jackets back on and headed off for the club… 😀

  • Sure I’ll put a poll up. It’ll be on the homepage after this comment. Although I’ll chime in and say that while the girls are a lovely addition to the grid, it really isn’t that important to the overall spectacle. Let the girls have something to look at for all I care.

    Although I do agree it is PC going overboard again. Of course motor sport is male-dominated. The ladies are more than welcome, but it will still be male dominated. Just the way things are, for now at least.

  • I’d dot it, if only I could make it to the casting session…

    In the DTM the male drivers have brolly dollies and the two female drivers (Susie Stoddart and Vanina Ickx) get men – at Brands the other year they were wearing kilts.

  • Does this mean attitudes might open up enough so that we get women racers in F1 again?

    And kilts at Brands Hatch… …the mind boggles. If it had been Fife or one of the other Scottish circuits, I’d have understood, but Kent is not noted for its kilt-wearing population!

  • It boggles the mind to think that some marketing guy thinks that a brief glimpse of a bit of eye candy (male bimbo–is that mimbo or himbo) is going to attract a legion of female fans. Has it not occurred to this unnamed person that the entire field of drivers is of the male persuasion…all in incredible physical condition and are often seen with their overalls stripped down to their waist while wearing form-fitting fireproof undergarments. If I were marketing to women, that’s the feature that I’d play up…not that I, personally, ever notice such things…

  • To really attract women, the powers-that-be would need to play up the social aspect of F1. There’s already enough gossip for this to be possible, so it’s more a question of making it trendy to talk about F1 to other women, and maybe even to watch it together. Not being a marketeer, I’m not sure how I’d do it (except that the average woman use things like the internet differently to the average man, which would have to be considered). A lot more women would tune in if it was a social opportunity.

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