Vettel wants Raikkonen to stay at Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo Spanish GP 2018

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has backed the use of "grid girls" for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, saying it was "a lovely thing" that the role would return after being scrapped by the sport's owners in January. The commercial director, Sean Bratches, was unequivocal about the decision at the time, saying "grid girls" were "at odds with modern-day societal norms".

But Monaco, the most glamorous destination on the F1 circuit, is bringing back the girls - and it seems they have the backing of the drivers.

The other change is that male models will feature alongside women.

Hamilton added: "The most important thing is to try and keep your feet on the ground, keep your family close and just enjoy the ride".

The prospect of Hamilton and Vettel pairing up with the same team, and competing in equal machinery, is a tantalising one. "It depends on the team and they know exactly what I want", said Raikkonen. "But today we did what we could so I am happy".

"I don't particularly feel any way about it". But when we pull up at the grid and there's a lovely woman on the grid, that's the Monaco Grand Prix!

"I think we'll be pretty decent. But if you ask the question 'Would I rather drive with Kimi than another driver?' then the answer is yes".

Sebastian Vettel went a step further than his rival, at least in one sense, but he couldn't resist taking a swipe at Liberty's change.

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Grid girls pose for a photo before the 2017 Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil in Sao Paulo.

"So I agree with Lewis - I think they look handsome".

He said Ferrari is "not panicking" after Barcelona either. "The bottom line is that there is too much of a fuss nowadays", the German said.

F1 denies there was any conflict with Monaco and says that, while women will be seen on the grid, they are part of a promotional arrangement that had been discussed over time and agreed upon amicably.

"I don't think there's anybody who forces them to. It speaks a little bit of our times that sometimes there's a lot of noise for nothing".

Ricciardo famously lost victory in Monaco in 2016 when he was leading comfortably only for his team to fail to have his tyres ready at a pit stop, handing the lead to Hamilton.

Rookie Sauber driver Charles Leclerc had a mixed response, seeing benefits to both sides of the argument.

"I'm excited to get on the hypersoft", said the Australian, who finished runner-up in 2016 and was third a year ago. It's just hard for people to get even close to the imagination of what it's like, but it's really something quite special.

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