WEC confirms it will not use grid girls in 2015


The FIA World Endurance Championship has confirmed that it will not be using grid girls in the 2015 season, breaking tradition with a number of other racing series all over the world.

Ordinarily, before the start of each race, grid girls – pictured here at the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix – will hold a number board for the drivers to make their starting slot in a move that looks to add some glamour to proceedings.

However, in an era of greater equality and greater female presence within motorsport, many have labelled the tradition outdated and sexist.

In a move that has already split opinion, the WEC confirmed via its official Twitter account on Friday that grid girls would not be featuring at its races this year.

Series CEO Gerard Neveu had also confirmed to Reuters on Thursday in London that the changes would be made for the forthcoming season.

“From Silverstone next week, you will see that for any race we will do, no grid girls like in the past,” Neveu said.

“For me that is the past. The condition of women is a little bit different now.”

The decision quickly became a hot topic on social media channels, with many taking to Twitter to make their thoughts clear. Although some felt that it was an important step to change attitudes within motorsport, others questioned what the true benefit of the change would be.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).