Formula 1

Hulkenberg wants to see the back of the Halo protection system, but has called for the return of Formula 1 grid girls.

Nico Hulkenberg vents on Halo system and F1's ban on grid girls

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The recent announcement that Formula One will no longer feature its customary grid-side glamour girls was met with a decidedly mixed reaction from both drivers and fans alike.

Effective from the start of the 2018 season, the sport's governors are to replace the women previously employed with aspiring young race drivers, dubbed "grid kids", following the backlash against use of professional models in sports across the country.

One man who was clearly not impressed by this move was Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.

The 30-year-old condemned the decision when speaking to No Sports magazine, calling it a "further step back for the show" and stating that he felt that the sport's appeal was increased by "some hot girls in front of the cars".

"Some hot girls in front of the cars is only good for that whole side of it," said the 30-year-old.

The German, who has never managed a podium finish despite 135 F1 starts, also took aim at the controversial Halo protection system, so called because it forms a semicircle around the cockpit resembling a halo.

The safety measure has been introduced to protect drivers from flying debris whilst racing.

Most observers agree that the apparatus is not pleasing on the eye and some drivers have expressed their concern that the device will obstruct their vision, whilst fans of the sport are unhappy that they will no longer be able to see the drivers themselves in the cockpit.

Hulkenberg, however, went one step further and questioned the usefulness of the system.

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Practice

"Not only does it look stupid, but the likelihood is minimal that an accident will happen in which Halo is actually helpful," said the former Williams, Force India, and Sauber driver.

"Motor sport thrives on speed, and all the drivers are aware of that," he reasoned.

Hulkenberg has been a vocal opponent of the system ever since it was announced last year. However, changes to better protect drivers in the cockpit were seemingly inevitable following the death of Britain's Justin Wilson in an IndyCar race after he was struck by debris whilst driving in an open cockpit in August 2015.

The removal of grid girls was also widely anticipated following the decision last month of the Professional Darts Corporation to no longer use walk-on girls at its events.


Sports such as boxing, cycling, and mixed martial arts have also been called upon to end the practice in their own sports.

Despite his objections, Hulkenberg will certainly find himself participating in a somewhat changed sport when the new Formula 1 season kicks off in Melbourne, Australia on March 25.

Formula 1
Felipe Massa
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton

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