Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he is pleased by the return of grid girls at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. 

New owners Liberty Media opted to phase out the use of grid girls ahead of the 2018 season, with F1’s managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches claiming the practice “does not resonate” with Liberty’s values and was “at odds with modern day societal norms”. 

The decision received a mixed response from drivers and fans, though F1’s move to introduce ‘grid kids’ under its Future Stars programme was popular. However, grid girls will return to the F1 grid in Monaco, after race organisers confirmed the principality would defy Liberty’s ruling. 

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Speaking in the pre-race drivers’ press conference, Hamilton welcomed the news and added that grid girls help celebrate the glamour and elegance associated with the Monaco Grand Prix.

"I think women are the most beautiful thing in the world,” Hamiton said. “When we pull up to the grid and there’s beautiful women on the grid that’s the Monaco Grand Prix, that’s a lovely thing. 

“I think Monaco is a very elegant grand prix and I don’t know how women feel about it, I haven’t really ever spoken to them about how they feel about the whole situation so I can’t really comment. 

“But I definitely don’t think we should be pushing or supporting these women to feel uncomfortable, and if they are we shouldn't do it.”

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel previously admitted he was confused by F1’s decision to stop using grid girls but believes the whole situation has been blown out of proportion. 

“I think the whole thing has been blown up, probably unnecessarily because I don't think any of the grid girls in the past were forced to do it, I think they enjoyed what they were doing. 

“I agree with Lewis, I like women, I think they look beautiful. If there was guys, I was just not interesting, nothing against those guys, I just didn’t care as much. The bottom line is I think it’s too much of a fuss nowadays. 

“I think all of the women that took part as a gird girl in the past did it because they want to so for sure you ask any grid girl on Sunday whether they are happy to stand there their answer will be ‘yes’. I don’t think there’s anybody who forces them to. It speaks a little bit for our times that sometimes there’s a lot of noise for nothing.”

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