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  1. ITV Report

F1 'grid girls' to end as pressure mounts on boxing ring-card holders

Formula One will stop using "grid girls" at the start of the next world championship season.

The sport's organisers said the walk-on grid girls were “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," Sean Bratches, managing director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1, said.

The decision comes after the Professional Darts Corporation's announced it was ending the long-established practice of women escorting male players to the stage.

The new F1 season begins on March 25.

"Grid Girls" are models used in the sport to hold umbrellas or driver name-boards, and line up as the winning driver walks to the podium.

Former F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart told ITV News he saw the move as "preventative medicine rather than corrective medicine".

"I think the decision that has been made just now is probably quite a sensible one to make at this stage and let's see how the world goes on," Sir Jackie said.

The three-time world champion also suggested the possibility of having both men and women to show drivers to their grid spot in the future.

"I think there could be reintroduction and maybe there's a balance between having girls and boys, men and women, on the grid," he said.

Boxing ring-card girls next?

There is now growing pressure on British boxing to follow suit and remove ring card girls.

But Frank Warren, the boxing promoter who introduced ring card girls to UK in the late 1970s, said they are part of the sport.

"I'm going to continue it, I'm not going to change it," Mr Warren told ITV News.

A ring card girl holds aloft a card indicating the start of the third round in a boxing match. Credit: ITV News

"I'm not going to put somebody out of work for no reason at all.

"I mean the girls are getting a living and good luck to them and they should be allowed to do so."