Hamilton ‘abused’ grid girl’s position


UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said, “A week is a long time in politics”. Well a day in Formula One came be a lifetime.

Following universal support from Fleet Street and acclaim for his win and tactics at the Chinese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s behaviour is once again under the microscope.

Hamilton’s repeatedly sprayed champagne in the face of a young Chinese ‘hostess’ on the podium and has now been criticised by ‘Object’ – a group who campaign against sexism.

The chief executive of Oject says, “The photographs appear to show that the woman is not just being splashed, but that the champagne is being very specifically directed into her face, which does not look like a voluntary piece of horseplay on her part.

“If this if the case we think Lewis Hamilton should apologise for his actions and think carefully about how he behaves in the future. For most people, it would be apparent that she is not enjoying it.

“It is surely a very difficult position to be a grid girl and she would have had little option but to stand there and take it. That is something of which he should be aware. But instead, he appears to have abused her position.

“It’s unfortunate that a great victory has been marred by what appears to be selfish and inconsiderate behaviour”.

Recently the WEC have done away with grid girls and podium hostesses, and the matter inevitably will rear its head in Formula One.

Meanwhile the behaviour of F1’s Mr. Marmite is at the sharp end of the news once again and a social media storm

83 responses to “Hamilton ‘abused’ grid girl’s position

  1. He shouldn’t do it, but I don’t get why some take the leap to calling it sexist. Talk about dour busybodies. They feel the need to seize on anything that they feel can plausibly made part of their “cause”, never realizing that this regular over-reaching is what kills their long-term credibility.

    • Abusing ogre he isn’t, but he’s shown a truly tragic lack of judgement there – getting bashed about the head in the media for it is entirely fair enough.

      There’s a power relationship between Lewis and the girl that he’s completely failed to respect. In a prefect world either Nico or Seb would have told him to back off. Either that or she would have kicked him in the nuts.

  2. This is hardly a first. However if you note the position of the bottle the first time he sprayed her it struck me as…. unfortunate.

    • I think there are two problems here, in connection to previous incidents. First, there is another photo where it is even more obvious that she definitely does not enjoy it, yet he continues. It’s debatable.
      The second one ties in with your observation. Less than two hours later several less inconspicuous photoshop versions of the photo appeared around the interwebs with lets say not so gentlemanly associations.

      I was however surprised to see some papers give him a right ol’ rollicking, which just a day before were demanding a knighthood for how expertly he humiliated Jerry.

      • “I was however surprised to see some papers give him a right ol’ rollicking, which just a days before were damnding a knighthood for how expertly he humiliated Jerry.”

        Fat Hippo, what on earth are you going on about? Who is this Jerry?

      • The papers will say whatever will sell most copies.

        Look at how much of an issue immigration is in the current election debate – it’s been stirred up way beyond the actual scale of the problem by the press and as a result politicians have been forced to implement laws that are hurting plenty of people and still they are being pressed to go further.

        Unfortunately having a free press and free speech means anyone can spout whatever rubbish they want and don’t have to defend or justify it. Most of the press has realised this and will say whatever is most controvertial because they know it will get them sales.

        • Admittedly I only did a quick Google search, but the only newspapers I found mentioning it were the Daily Mail and a couple of tabloids. I think that kind of sums up the “storm in a teacup” level this story is at…

  3. Looking back at it, he perhaps should have thought twice about doing it in a country which the girls don’t even look like they particularly want to be there. However, for some, it’s just another reason to jump on the Hamilton hate brigade.

    The odious dailymail had it as their top story for a while, would you believe….

    • Anil, I will now watch Formula E simply because you posted that clip. Smart recruiting methodology.

      Go, Mark! Go…


        • That’s an unwise comment, Anil. 10 x 0 is still 0.

          Given that lack of wisdom, I have to ask; are you promoting an FE race (e-Prix?) as having an entertainment value of zero? Oh gosh, are you attempting to secretly drive down the value of the FE commercial rights in order to subsequently come in the back door (Sorry LGBT community) in a swoop-style, cunning deal?

          I demand the Judge investigate (and Fat Hippo write) what could be a repeat of F1’s 100 year deal made in the glorious year of 2000. The FE “Bernie” has been exposed. Anil, we are on to you…

          *stands and points at Anil* J’accuse! Conspiracy exposed.

          Either that, or it was an innocent comment from you that reflected either a poor grasp of mathematics (unlikely), or an inflated view (even a rating of 1/10 is inflated) of Monaco’s entertainment factor in F1, which is factually proven to be absolute zero. The only thing that doesn’t freeze from boredom at Monaco is good Russian vodka.

          If indeed you simply and innocently made a mistake, then I throw myself at your benevolent feet, beg forgiveness and hope you allow me to suggest an alternative way to express what is likely to be the mathematical entertainment premium of FE Monaco over F1 Monaco…

          *Throws himself at Anil’s feet*

          Perhaps you should have said, “…and I can promise that it will be infinity + 1 more entertaining than…”

          Glad to help. ;D

          May the Nutella bind us all if, and when, the dark times come. Winter is coming…

          *See’s Fat Hippo stampeding this way. Runs*

    • Interestingly there don’t seem to have been the same cries of outrage on the occasion. Seems like a pathetic attempt to have yet another Hamilton bash to me.

  4. What I find surprising about the criticism is that it does not take into account what the ‘normal’ way of doing a podium in racing is. I think I have read a comment from a female racer (or maybe a grid girl) who says that if you’re on a podium you know you’re going to get wet and if you don’t want that than get out of there (and looking at other podium ceremonies it seems quite normal for the ceremony girls to flee away, along with the vip’s who hand out the trophies, when the champagne bottles are opened).

    Look if it really is a situation that bothers the ceremony girls than it isn’t strange to introduce rules against this kind of behavior but this is the first time I have read that someone actually complained about it (I’ve seen a bit more complaints about the grid girls but not that many more to be honest). I therefore wonder if this is really a problem and if it is is it a big problem or are there maybe some things that deserve a lot more attention than complaining about a winning driver spraying some champagne into a ceremony girls face. This commentary smells a bit like whining to get into the news because you’re whining about something that a lot of media write about. The complainer didn’t even ask the girl if liked it?, asked if she accept it’s part of her job or thinks it’s not something ceremony girls should be bothered with? etc.

    • 100% agreed.
      Ive seen girls sprint of the podium, afraid to get wet, as if they were dodging bullets.
      How about the (male) drivers? They have to be there and have to take it to the face. Or does the gay standpoint get no acknowledgement? Might aswell scrap champagne entirely, along with grid girls.

  5. Man… I can understand that people find the whole idea of grid girls sexist and old fashioned. I could not care less if they decide to cancel the whole thing to be honest. But this is just ridiculous.Unless that grid girl was forced to do that job, the statements made by that executive ‘object’ are total nonsense. I am pretty sure she knew what she was getting herself into at the time she applied for the job.

    This is yet another showing of unplaced political correctness a lot of people in Western countries suffer from these days (especially politicians and people in high profile functions). With his statement he proves he is completely unqualified for the job he does. A person in the position he has, in an organization that fights for female rights cannot afford to make nonsensical comments about non-issues since that discredits any real attempts at solving real issues they make.

    He is completely missing the point of the cause he is fighting for!

  6. I don’t get the spraying of champagne anyway. When did that silly routine begin anyway? He hasn’t seen a podium for some time but I have noted that Mr Raikkonen sprays – as is “customary” – but stops the nonsense to drink some, clink bottles with fellow racers.

  7. What does that make of racers spraying other male racers in their face even though they appear not to want that? Has the gay community complained yet? And how about all those showers team bosses got?
    Don’t want to get wet? Get off the podium. If there is anyone who failed here, it is the person who didn’t tell the girl she should have ran away the moment the bottles got out.
    Sexist my ass.

    • Even more so when it’s a token team member they’ve sent up there to pick up the manufacturers trophy for the weekend. Just spent all week prepping everything for the drivers, then get rewarded by being objectified in such a way…

    • Yeah, the point about power in relationships is an interesting one. All the drivers get bottles so fair doings to them, but if the podium girls aren’t allowed to leave then it’s a reasonable point to bring up. Personally I’m of the opinion it’s a waste of good champers and they can send it to me if they don’t want it, as I would happily drink it.

      • The dynamics around power relationships is key to so much of the sh!t that goes on around the world – from small acts of douche-baggery as perpetrated by Lewis through to armed conflicts.

        Of course, it’s a given that people who spend their time on the high side of the myriad power relationships throughout their lives are mostly entirely incapable of acknowledging (let alone understanding) that such relationships exist. Cue squeals of overreaction, political correctness, ad hom attacks on the victim(s) and their supporters.

        The display of unbridled, unacknowledged male privilege in this bunch of comments right here is something to behold. Hilarious and terribly sad at the same time.

  8. Meanwhile the behaviour of F1’s Mr. Marmite is at the sharp end of the news once again

    haha, lolz. 1 Paper – the daily Mail now consitutes the sharp end of the news???
    Lets not forget that the daily Mail was the paper that stood for the Germans and Blackshirts, Mosely before the war.
    So I think you will find that just as has happened for 60 years, apart from this one paper, the rest of the media are still celebrating the smashing of the Germans on 2 fronts simultaneously WITHOUT waiting for the Russians this time

  9. What a crock of crap! She got hand she can protect her face with, anyone would think he punched her in the nose give the freakin’ put cry.

    No-one complains when he sprays the dignitaries!!!!!!!!!

  10. Good way for a group I’d never heard of to get their name into mainstream media, who will of course lap this sort of crap up… media savvy from their PR folks.

  11. What in the world is happening to this site today? First all the rubbish about Coulthard and now an article and debate in the comments section about spraying champagne on grid girls? Are we serious?

    • Actually I think this is a healthy discussion. It goes to show that grid girls have no business doing their flaunting their womanly parts… unless accompanied of course by grid boys flaunting theirs… 😉

  12. This publicity seeking group with less media profile than F1 and this article has wasted our time and Internet resources.

    Any one truly serious about equality will know that there are many other much
    more meaningful changes that could be made to protect the oppressed.

  13. Yes! My time machine must be working, it’s April 1st again! Right, lottery numbers here we come.

  14. When women go to watch male strippers, it’s just for fun and a bit of a giggle.
    When men go to watch female strippers, they are seedy, perverted and degrading women in general.


    I told my misses about this story and she laughed and replied ” it’s usually ugly women that complain about pretty women flaunting what God have them. I’d like to see a photo of the women that run the pressure group”

    And that’s from another woman!

    • 😂😂😂😂😂….. Your misses summed it up perfectly. She probably didn’t get invited to her high school prom by the school jock, so she’s still p!ssed off!

  15. And, this is why ‘grid girls’ are anathema to the whole concept of sport. This *is* in fact sexism. The women are relegated to objectification by the “tool” / “eye candy” position into which they are inserted. The fact that every winner seems to do it, or, its has always been done this way does not excuse the behavior.
    Those of you who think is much ado about nothing, who find the sight of a young woman getting blasted in the face with liquid as something funny, please, take 15 seconds and try putting yourself into this woman’s place. Do you really think this is appropriate and becoming of the such a great sport?
    Contrary to the beliefs of many men, women are not commodities placed on earth for our amusement.

    • Putting women only on the podium/podium walk, and grid: that is sexist. A driver on a podium soaking them would be abusing a position of power, if anything. Had it been a woman driver… what then? Had it been a woman driver soaking a male podium lurker then what?

      Bernie/the FIA whoever are sexist, the drivers were just celebrating, and maybe abusing their position a little, but in the name of having a laugh… if we stop this… well

      • “. . ., but in the name of having a laugh…”
        Sorry, but I am confused. Are you saying the drivers were “just celebrating”, so no harm no foul? How many women, people of color, gays, disable persons, etc. have been hurt and/or humiliated at the expense of someone’s “just celebrating”? Answer: too many.

        btw: the definition of sexism, racism, most -isms, is “abusing a position of power”, as you said. From that core concept harassment litigation springs.

        Just my two-cents.

        • Yes, but the ‘sex’ or the ‘race’ at the beggining is the issue here, and the angle the organisation is openly playing. Lewis was accused of Sexism… I am pointing out it isn’t logically sexism.

          I freely admited above it could be seen as an abuse of his position… however, I this is much more likely put it down to bad judgement during a fun celebration, than a deliberate attempt to debase women.

          The top point I don’t think we can have a sensible conversation about over the internet, but I do find it difficult to align this particular situation with genuine cases of people being hurt or humilation. Best I can see, Lewis acted like a bit of a nob and didn’t think properly, possibly harrassment could be levelled. Trying to open it up to a conversation about all forms of abuse, and levels of severity seems over the top to me personally. I’m not willing to divulge my full background here, but you won’t find me llacking in sympathy personally for cases of abuse of many kinds, I do fear issues like this can get pushed to far, and some get evangelical about its implementation.

  16. Twitter post from Champagned Podium Girl:
    OMG! Did you see me and Lewis in the news? He totally sprayed me and wouldn’t stop! He totally likes me – and he’s SO HOT!!! And he’s single! woo woo!!!!

    • No, the microphone missed the bit where Lewis offered to take the lady in question back to his motorhome to help her out of her wet clothes…. 😉

      Actually, if he became a modern-day James Hunt it wouldn’t hurt his PR one bit IMO.

  17. TBH I still think it’s an improvement on when Lewis first started in F1, and he used to spray the champers like a teenager trying to crack one off before his mum gets home.

  18. Unbelievable! 56 (now 57) comments about a hostess being sprayed with champagne. On a regular F1 story you might see ten comments. The fact is, she’ll be telling that story to her great-grand kids. Grow up boys (and girls) and enjoy life while you can.

  19. At first I thought this was meant to be a joke, but I see that it’s not.

    The fact is, it’s hardly sexist what Lewis did, he sprayed men and women with equal abandon. It’s nonsense to say they only spray the other podium drivers. They always spray the crowd below, which includes drivers, mechanics, team bosses, reporters, grid girls, fans, etc.

    It’s far more sexist for the organizers to have grid girls and hostesses in the first place. Where are the grid boys and hosts?

  20. Sexist? Yawn! ism ist delete erase.

    Skanky, yes! Unlike Vettel and others, who sprayed from a distance, and not a huge amount. Lewis is spraying directly into her face, and you can see the unedifying expression of enjoyment on his face. Nicole was lucky to escape his clutches.

    • “Nicole was lucky to escape his clutches.”
      I, too, wondered if he might be a bully up-close and personal. Champagne stings the eyes and it’s worse than just uncomfortable. He must have experienced this in all his years on the podium. His actions seemed purposeful and aggressive – better saved for Vettel and Rosberg. They, at least, could bite back.

  21. Number of shits given about this non story = points accumulated by Alonso has this season.

  22. Why are there a lot of MEN claiming that this is an attack on #44? WTH?? “Poor millionaire race driver, everybody hates him”. Ok, let’s try this, get whomever gets a recognition award next at your company to try it, see if he gets away with it.

    I didn’t really care before, just thought that this would lead to the banning of girls eventually (this, along with other abusive behavior like the cyclist pinching a girl’s arse is getting us there fast), but turning it into “poor ol Hammy, getting hate” just pisses me off.

  23. Would I be right in thinking this post has had a fairly large edit? It certainly seems quite different from when I read it earlier…

  24. What a boad of lollocks! Get a grip guys and girls. This is such a non-story!
    The girl accepted the job and must have known the likelihood of getting sprayed with champagne. The clothing, I would assume was provided, so no expense to her. It was part of the job description I am sure, to look pretty and take the risk of getting wet. Not only that, she got her face seen all over the world and has, no doubt, become a minor celebrity. 🙂

  25. The girl was interviewed on another website and she said she is an accountant, the company that hired her told her she was supposed to stand there, and getting sprayed was no big deal.
    For the politically correct — PC now stands for Bully! and that’s not a British compliment.

  26. How many more, “only when Lewis Hamilton does it it it an issue” events does it take to understand that this type of “journalism” and some of the comments here and elsewhere have a deeper animus to them than just, “It’s because I don’t like him.”…???

    • How many more, “only when Lewis Hamilton does it it it an issue” events does it take to understand that this type of “journalism” and some of the comments here and elsewhere have a deeper animus to them than just, “It’s because I don’t like him.”…???

      Interesting question… I acknowledge my own surprise on this issue, having seen hundreds of young ladies doused in champers over the many years of watching all breeds of international motorsport.

      I instinctively asked myself two questions. Not aloud of course, I’m not a sufferer schizophrenia after all, despite the fact I KNOW they are watching me and are trying to poison my food.

      1) Could the whole podium ceremony simply be an outdated, sexist and misogynistic ritual? 2) Why has Lewis been targeted now and used as the conduit to this new liberal, anti-pagan, post-race movement in celebratory equality?

      As I pondered such deep questions that led my mind to cover inherent institutional racism, sexism, the best types of champagne and the fact I KNOW they are tracking me, I came to realise a realisation, so realistic that it roused my raucous mind to request recommendations from my imaginary retinue. I asked them, “imaginary advisers, could this target of Lewis be as a result of, you know, the R word?”

      They didn’t answer, as is usually the case with people of the imaginary constitution. But persisted I did, and in time an answer, nay a whisper, was forthcoming… “42!”, they said. 42? What did this mean?

      I began to ponder this “42”. Could it be that 42 results in, or translates to, 101010 in binary code? Or that light refracts off water by 42 degrees to create the visual “magic” that is the rainbow? Perhaps it is based on the fact that light requires 10−42 seconds to cross the diameter of a proton.

      In the end, it was none of these things as I realised Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was playing in the background. BUT, the real question now became, was it playing before the answer 42 was whispered to me, or did THEY turn it on, after my inspiration, without me knowing, in order to reinforce the answer?! Are they indeed watching me?! Despite logic dictating otherwise, I was compelled to believe that indeed THEY wanted to reinforce “42” as the answer to my opening questions.

      But why? Yes, yes, I know… if I asked the architect of the matrix, “why”, he (it) would smirk and state, “that is the most irrelevant question”. But the question of “why” has to matter, doesn’t it? Could there be deeper issues at play in the targeting of Lewis’ behaviour on the podium? Surely that the WEC, for example, is focusing on equality and getting rid of grid girls, and female drivers in F1 being the flavour of the day is total coincidence to the (apparently random) focus on females on the podium too (hint hint). Is the podium ceremony outdated and simply a way for men to exert their cavemen-like dominance on unsuspecting young ladies? Will THEY ever catch me, and if they do, will it matter? I think the answer to that, and more, is irrevocably 42.

      It has to be, doesn’t it? In the end, human nature is a wonderful thing; we see things were they don’t exist, we chose to ignore context and ultimately all we really see is ourselves. At some stage this was a functional trait evolution bestowed on us to survive. A shame it’s so useless now… A legacy of living in caves.

      • Great reply. From now on Hamilton should, first, cross himself and then lead in singing, “God Save the Queen…” (but then again, he might not be smart enough to know the words).

  27. Why is any one surprised, another overpaid arrogant git. If he wasn’t driving racing cars he would be driving getaway ones.

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