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Russian GP joins push for F1 grid girl return

The Russian Grand Prix is on a growing list of races calling for a return of grid girls following the ban announced by Formula 1 in January.

Grid girls
Girls
Grid girls
Grid girls
Grid girl
Grid girls
Grid girls

Several races are seeking a compromise that could see girls return to the grid in some capacity, possibly while the grid kids – an innovation for this year – continue to hold the driver sign boards.

Pressure from race sponsors is one obvious reason why some promoters are keen to see a change to F1’s plans, especially those with airline backers who traditionally use full-time cabin crew in their normal uniforms for the grid ceremony.

Automobile Club de Monaco boss Michel Boeri insisted this week that girls, traditionally sponsored by TAG, would still be on the grid for this year’s race.

Monaco is a special case in that it has more control over what happens on the grid, but other races have also been lobbying Liberty.

The Singapore GP organisers are also pushing to allow the country’s national airline staff – who are regarded as ambassadors for the race – to continue to participate.

Russia has now followed suit, with deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak insisting that he wants girls on the grid at October’s Sochi race.

Sergey Vorobyev, deputy general director of Sochi promoter Rosgonki, confirmed that he shares Kozak’s view.

“It’s the Russian GP and he has all the rights to voice an opinion,” he told Motorsport.com. “It’s a good opinion, actually. We are looking for ways to do things properly, and together with FOM we’re in the process of looking for a solution.

"It is very true that Russian girls are absolutely beautiful, and if they are not going to be on the grid, it will be a pity for the event and for the TV pictures.

“We’re obviously not against kids. We have a lot of creative options, and we’re in the process of searching. For the audience it’s been a hot topic, and it’s a problem for our sponsors.

"Actually last year and this year as well it was planned as an option for one of our sponsors, Lukoil. So we have to find a way to make the sponsor happy as well.”

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