Despite the enlightened times we live in, where discrimination against women is frowned upon and, in many countries, illegal, paddock girls, sometimes known as “race queens” or “umbrella girls”, have been a fixture in four- and two-wheeled motorsport for decades. However, the Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV), a political party in the province of Catalunya, Spain, is looking to have paddock girls restricted at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix.

Seeking to have restrictions placed on clothing worn by the paddock girls, the ICV is also looking to balance the gender bias on the track, with the addition of grid boys. Speaking over Spanish radio station Cadena Ser Catalunya, Jordi Manils of the ICV said the role of grid girls at the circuit is not fitting in the 21st century.

The restrictions ICV is asking for is inclusive of all future events held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which might include Grand Prix. “What it does is objectify and vex women with a role in which they are a simple object and an ornament of the situation,” said Manils.

Forwarding such a proposal will require the agreement of a councillor from another political party in the township, a move which would not be difficult, according to a report, and a vote being taken after the motion is tabled. The Jerez city council had previously proposed a ban on paddock girls for the Spanish Grand Prix, which was rebuffed by MotoGP organisers Dorna.

Some quarters have asked for the practice of having paddock girls as part of race teams and racing festivities be stopped, in a bid to attract female fans to the sport. Others have said that, in a male-dominated paddock, the image of the only females on the grid purely as “decoration” is sexist.

A few teams seem to have agreed with this view, ceasing the use of paddock girls as part of their racing promotional activities. Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati have stopped including paddock girls in the team, saying such a practice is no longer part of their, or their sponsor’s, image in 2017.

What do you think dear reader? Are paddock girls a part of the racing atmosphere on any given grid or paddock, or is such a practice an anachronism in this day and age? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.