Everyone knows the grid walk is one of the most glamorous parts of a Formula One race. Apparently this is due to the official policy: grid access passes should be handed to celebrities, people of note and "glamorous ladies," whatever that means.
Never mind that the phrase "glamorous ladies" makes me want to let out the world's biggest Red-Bull-grade belch* that echoes through every nook and cranny of central Texas. Oh, ladies, we get singled out, because y'know, Formula One still operates in the sixties and they can't handle the level of awesome it takes to be un-glamorous.
This letter from May 2013 was addressed to Caterham's team principal at the time, Cyril Abiteboul. Former Caterham commercial manager Richard St. Clair found a copy of the letter and posted it to Twitter this morning:
The text reads:
Please be reminded that where possible, grid access passes should be used for celebrities or people of note or as always, really glamorous ladies.
This is not so much a sporting matter but part of the show business of Formula One.
It looks very similar to the letterhead Ecclestone used to write about the German Grand Prix earlier this year, albeit with the FOM logo in black and white instead of in green with grey text around it.
It also makes me want to scratch myself, pick my nose and fart, just to solidify my permaban from the Stepford Grid.
I've said this before and I'll say this again: no one actually living in the current century feels like grid passes should be limited to the glamorous. The same rant I had with grid girls applies here: opportunities to be closer to the action should go to people who'd get the most out of it. This includes total nerds who are going to have some kind of magical nerdsplosion behind Eddie Jordan yapping his trap on TV—regardless of gender or looks.
I have way more fun watching people who get the sport drool all over themselves than I do looking at a bunch of celebrities and hangers-on walk around uninterested. The celebrities who get into the whole experience are the best. The ones who look like they counting down the minutes until they can stop standing on those heels and get away from all this hot sweaty race car mess should be skipped over for total geeks and freaks who are actually into the whole experience. They're way more interesting, anyway.
We reached out the to the FIA for comment on this letter, but have yet to receive a response.
*I'm pretty sure this is the actual purpose of Red Bull: not to fund extreme sports, not to provide caffeine, but to spawn the biggest belches known to man.