Formula 1 has revved up its modernization drive by banning the use of walk-on grid girls from the start of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after deciding that the practice was ‘out of tune’ with its vision for the sport.
Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula 1, commented: "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.”
Liberty One is in process of modernising the sport as it seeks to compete with a younger demographic, which has been increasingly drawn toward Formula E, since its acquisition of the brand last year.
That process has already seen many of the teams ‘energised’ by a changing of the guard with McLaren taking advantage of the opportunity to move away from ‘one-dimensional’ advertising such as hoarding and banners towards forming partnerships.
A root and branch commercial overhaul has already begun with a new marketing push for VIP packages during race weekends which grant fans access to the circuit, paddock, parties and more.
Ambitions don’t end there however with bosses also keen to develop their own streaming platform where fans can pay to watch races from the comfort of their own homes, all of which follows the introduction of a new logo.