Goodbye, grid girls: A look at Formula One's icon through the years

Formula One said on Wednesday (Jan 31) that the practice of having grid girls before races was "clearly at odds with modern day societal norms" and had to be stopped.

A day later, British businessman Bernie Ecclestone, who was for decades the "ringmaster" of F1 before selling to current owners Liberty Media, shot back at the move.

"The country at the moment is getting a bit prudish," he told Britain's Sun newspaper.

When Singapore hosted its first Formula One race in 2008, more than 300 hopefuls vied to be among the 44 grid girls.

In the six years of the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, the Singtel Grid Girls became a permanent fixture at the world's only night race.

Each year, they were selected through a reality programme to bring fun and glamour to the races with their stylish looks and sporty personalities.

Like grid girls in races in other countries, their role was to indicate the designated spot on the grid to the respective driver before the start of each race.

The practice continued even when Singapore Airlines took over as title sponsor in 2014.

That year, 50 kebaya-clad Singapore Girls were handpicked to line up at the starting grid on race day.

Here is a look at the Singapore Formula One grid girls and those from around the world through the years:

SingTel Grid Girl Casey Fan at the starting line of the Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix 2008. PHOTO: LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC
SingTel Singapore Grid Girls pose for a television camera crew at the Marina Bay circuit ahead of the night race, on Sept 27, 2009. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
The SingTel grid girls for the 2010 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix. PHOTO: ST FILE
The SingTel Grid Girls for the 2011 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix. PHOTO: ST FILE
Singtel Grid Girls make their way to the paddock for the 2011 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix qualifying race, on Sept 24, 2011. PHOTO: ST FILE
The top eight SingTel Grid Girls contestants, who were vying for a spot to be among the top three who will flag off the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2012. PHOTO: ST FILE
The top eight finalists of the 2013 SingTel Grid Girls contest, posing with the new Singapore Grand Prix trophy. PHOTO: ST FILE
Grid girls at the 2017 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, on Sept 17, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Grid girls walk in the paddock area, at the 2017 Formula One Russian Grand Prix, on April 29, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Grid girls pose on the track before the start of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, on March 20, 2016. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Grid girls on standby ahead of the 2017 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, on May 28, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Grid Girls pose prior to the qualifying session at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Nov 2, 2013. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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