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F1 GP hired sexy grid girls despite ban – and even held bathing suit competition

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Grid girls are a thing of the past in Formula One but the ban didn't stop one Grand Prix from hiring them – and they even went as far as to hold a bathing suit competition.

F1 bosses made the choice to cut grid girls from the race weekend for the 2018 season as they looked to move with the times. That year's Austrian GP decided to defy the decision, though.

Ladies wearing traditional Austrian dirndl dress were a regular feature when F1 travelled to the country, and Red Bull Ring owner Dietrich Mateschitz wasn't prepared to part ways with them.

"An incredible puppet show. Formula 1 has more important things to do than debate grid girls," he argued in a Korean newspaper. So the grid girls returned despite the ban.

While they weren't allowed on track per the rules, Red Bull Ring spokesman Stefan Hotschl confirmed: "They will have tasks off the track in various areas."

Are grid girls outdated or do you miss them? Let us know in the comments section.

One of those tasks was a Miss Grand Prix 2018 contest, which included a bathing suit competition. According to The Parc Ferme, the bikini-clad girls battled it out to claim the title.

Red Bull's antics won't have gone down well with Formula One managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches, who had explained why the grid girls were being removed earlier in the year.

He said: "Over the last year, we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport.

“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."

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