Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton comments on Monaco Grand Prix bringing back Grid Girls

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Lewis Hamilton is a big fan of many things.

Social media, winning world championships, and driving like his hair is on fire are all high on his list.

And, it transpires that he also likes the return of 'Grid Girls' for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

He previously posted on Instagram back in April his delight at their return to the grid, in a defiant display by the Monaco GP organising committee.

His post: "thank you Jesus," was condemned by a number of fans, and the reigning world champion quickly deleted it.

But, in the round of pre-Monaco press conferences, Hamilton was asked how he felt about the return of the Grid Girls.

He answered: "I think women are the most beautiful thing in the world. 

"When we pull up on the grid, and there is beautiful women on the grid, that's the Monaco Grand Prix, that's a lovely thing."

He added: "But I definitely don't think we should ever be supporting or pushing these women in general to feel uncomfortable and if they are, then they shouldn't do it."

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Previews

Predictably, in the spontaneous world of social media commentary, some fans voiced anger at Hamilton's support for the perceived backwards step, in the move towards greater equality within F1.

One fan, Dan Bulley, said: “Women are a 'thing'? Hugely offensive AND grammatically incorrect.”

Another social media commentator labelled Hamilton a dinosaur.

And another fan posted: “Lewis Hamilton wants grid girls because they look nice. Not because they have intelligence, wit, prowess, diligence, or anything else young women are achieving every day in spite of decades of inequality, but because they look nice. Absolute dinosaur.”

You can see some reaction from Hamilton's comments below.

However, Hamilton's title rival, Sebastian Vettel came to the Brits aid.

The Ferrari ace felt that the debate was being blown out of proportion, adding: "I think the whole thing has been blown up because I don't think any of the grid girls in the past were forced to do it. I think they enjoyed what they were doing."

He went on to support his title rival by saying: "I agree with Lewis: I like women, I think they look beautiful. If it was guys I was just not interested.

"I'm sure you ask any grid girl on Sunday whether they're happy to stand there the answer will be 'yes'."

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Previews

Neutral observers may ask what the fuss is about. The battle for gender equality must be taken seriously by all sports - particularly a male-dominated Formula One - which is what Liberty Media is attempting to do.

But, glamour and elegant female models are employed in every from of communication, in all media, and certainly in all sports. Grid Girls have been an institution in F1 for decades.

They tend to be women, drawn from the modelling ranks of top international agencies - whose retained models are equally engaged in TV advertising campaigns, catwalk showpieces for the fashion industry, glamorous Home and Style magazines, in perfume commercials and, yes, for twenty-something races per year, as Grid Girls for F1 Grand Prix.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-MON

They're handsomely remunerated as they're contracted to 'model'. They choose the profession. It's a tough industry. Brutal. Thousands upon thousands of young women, and men, strive to be recognised for their physical attributes and beauty. Most will not make it. There are just too many vying for the work. Do they feel demeaned by looking glamorous on the grid? Highly unlikely. 

Is the reintroduction of Grid Girls at Monaco a retrograde move? Of is it an opportunity for world-class (or aspiring world-class) models to earn a living and exploit and industry that rewards fashion, style and beauty? 

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Topics:
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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