Singapore Grand Prix organisers will bring back Grid Girls for the night race at Marina Bay Circuit, possibly in defiance with Formula 1’s decision to scrap the age-old tradition.
In a statement, the race title sponsors confirmed: “Our cabin crew are brand ambassadors for Singapore Airlines and will continue to play an integral role in the upcoming Formula 1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.”
Grid Girls were axed from the pre-race build-up programme before the start of this season, the long-standing custom in all forms and levels of motorsport globally is seen to be politically incorrect by the sport’s new owners.
Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches, announced in January, “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. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
Dean Shams, a communication strategist at public relations agency KinetiqBuzz, told Yahoo, “Liberty Media sees the grid girl as a form of sexism since they typically exude a sexual persona with their scantily clad outfits. Rightfully, they want to be seen as a progressive brand.”
“SIA, and Singapore, on the other hand, see Singapore Girls as a local icon. In that respect, they seem like a good fit to represent Singapore’s brand of uniqueness and hospitality.”