Deputy PM wants grid girls at Russian Grand Prix
Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak wants to see "harmonious and pretty" grid girls back in Formula One in Sochi this September.
It was agreed ahead of the 2018 season that F1 would no longer use girls on the grid, with children from local motorsport clubs instead taking this role, but this has not gone down well with Kozak.
He says he is working to ensure the women will be back for this year's Russian Grand Prix, which he oversees, claiming his compatriots are "the most beautiful".
"If we can reach an agreement we will revive this tradition," Kozak said, as reported by Interfax. "Moreover, our girls are the most beautiful.
"It's wrong at races to lead out children, who are frightened of mechanical things. You need grown-ups. In all kinds of motorsport, girls advertise the cars and it looks harmonious and pretty."
Diaries at the ready...-- Formula 1 (@F1) January 23, 2018
2018's back-to-back (to back) races
Bahrain China April 08/15
France Austria -> GB June 24/July 1/8
Germany Hungary July 22/29
Belgium Italy Aug 26/Sept 2
Russia Japan Sept 30/Oct 7
US Mexico Oct 21/28#F1pic.twitter.com/iIxDwD9g4r
The September 30 race in Sochi is the 16th on the calendar this year, with Valtteri Bottas winning there last season.
And Kozak may find an ally in the Automobile Club de Monaco, after its president Michel Boeri confirmed they were also looking to reverse the decision for next month's prestigious Monaco GP.
"They'll be there on the grid, but they won't be holding any name boards," Boeri is quoted as telling Matin when asked about the grid girls.
"They're pretty, and the cameras will be on them once again."