Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Bye Bye Grid Girls
Formula One has all sort of pre-race rituals. One that has come under fire lately has been the use of grid girls, female models hired to stand with the cars on the grid before the race.
It's a job that's been seen as outdated for a while, particularly in the current social climate. Now, F1 has announced that grid girls starting this season, and this extends to all events during the Grand Prix weekend. F1 follows the WEC, which ended the use of grid girls in 2015.
Daniel Ricciardo is yet to decide what team he'll drive for when his Red Bull contract expires at the end of 2018. Red Bull is keen to keep Ricciardo under contract, but the Australian wants to weigh his options.
Now, Ricciardo believes that his next contract will be make or break if he's going to win an F1 championship during his career. He wants a long term contract with a team that'll give him the best chance of winning the championship. That's obvious, but that's why he's taking his time. He needs a sense of who is strong in 2018 before signing up for 2019 and beyond.
Toyota is recalling 340,000 Priuses–212,000 in Japan, 92,000 in the US–due to a parking brake defect. Basically, the brake could fail, causing the car to roll away if it's in a gear that isn't park. Please take your car to be fixed if your Prius is impacted.