SAKHIR, Bahrain (AFP, BLOOMBERG) - Lewis Hamilton created another social media storm on Friday (April 6) when he backed the return of grid girls at this year's Monaco Grand Prix - and then removed the post.
The defending four-time world champion had posted a grab from another Instagram user, which had a picture of some grid girls and added "Thank you Jesus".
The picture-story was in support of the Monaco and Russian Grands Prix indicating they plan to defy a decision made last year by Formula One owner Liberty Media to use "grid kids" instead of girls this year at F1 events.
"We've had no problems with Liberty Media, except for the grid-girl issue," Michel Boeri, president of the Automobile Club de Monaco. told F1i.com.
"They're pretty, and the cameras will be on them once again."
News of the initial "no-grid-girl" ruling had caused deep divisions among spectators and enthusiasts. Some saw it as long overdue in a dated, dying sport that objectifies and commoditises women, while others considered it a knee-jerk reaction to appease draconian standards of political correctness in the current #MeToo cultural climate.
Boeri, who hosts F1's most glamorous event, apparently fell into the latter camp.
"Our American friends assume that it could hurt the feminine feelings when employing young women to carry signs," Boeri told Monaco-Matine, a local newspaper. "Our hostesses complete model and PR schools. They perform during the Grand Prix at events that are in line with their training. And they are paid for it."