Thursday, 11 january 2018, 06:15 , by Matthew Scott
Formula One's head of global sponsorship and commercial partnerships Murray Barnett has insisted that a female presence on the circuit is important and it is his wish to keep grid girls 'relevant' as the tradition is called into question for perhaps being outdated.
Grid girls have become synonymous with F1 and they can usually be found escorting drivers around the paddock, However, some critics believe the tradition is outdated and that females should be represented in a more substantial manner, perhaps even via a women's F1 series.
Barnett insisted that the girls would not be axed completely, but the format in which females are represented would be looked at.
"We’re 100% committed to looking into grid girls and making them a more relevant part of the competition rather than just holding a board and standing next to a car," Barnett told Marketing Week.
"We want to make them fully integrated into the programme and change the perception of what their involvement in the sport is.
"We haven’t quite cracked what this will look like, but we’ve recognised we need to become more progressive there."
With Liberty Media aiming to evolve the sport, Barnett revealed an ongoing debate as to whether there should be women drivers or even a women's F1 series.
"There is a fierce debate about whether we should have a separate female F1 competition or to keep it fully integrated and let women drivers take part in a mixed gender competition like some have done in the past.
"We have a lot of women in senior management positions at F1, so we’re not as bad as you think, but there’s definitely a lot of room to grow."