The practice supposedly began at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans when sunscreen purveyor, Hawaiian Tropic, brought a posse of bikini-clad model-types to the iconic event for promotional purposes.
The ageing former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was in charge of the sport for decades and continuously worked to increase the sport's exposure through numerous means, agreed with Lauda. Since then grid girls have become a regular fixture in high-level motorsport competition.
Darts took a similar decision last month, banning the women who walk on with the players before matches.More news: Classy Blitzboks hammer Aussies to reach Hamilton Sevens final
"Over the a year ago we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport", said Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1.
The sport's American owners Liberty Media announced their decision to ban employing grid girls this week, branding their use "at odds with modern day societal norms". "We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world".
Nevertheless, some of grid girls were unhappy about their imminent unemployment, with Lucy Stokes telling her Twitter followers: "I love my job". It would seem that the majority of the population are going with the latter, but the 2018 season will go on without them anyway, as it is set to start on Sunday, March 25th with the Australian Grand Prix.
"I would love the naysayers to come and watch one of our practices and see the blood, sweat and tears that go into learning a new dance routine every week", she said.More news: New Teaser For Westworld Season Two, Premiere Date Set
"I can't see how a good-looking girl standing with a driver and a number in front of a Formula One auto can be offensive to anybody".
"We're glad to welcome F1 to the 21st century".
Model Kelly Brook, a former Formula One grid girl, described the role as "one of the best jobs I've ever had". "They could have looked at making it more equal between the sexes in the role". "I don't remember any of the girls being forced to do anything".
Lauda said, "I think it's a great pity to break a tradition such as this, which does Formula 1 - but above all, women - no favors at all". This is not doing any favours to F1 and especially not for women. "You should be allowed to have grid girls because the drivers like them, the audience like them and no one cares". How will it affect series like WSBK and MotoGP?More news: An opening for Trump to fire Rod Rosenstein