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Angry Lauda: 'How dumb can someone be?'

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F1 legend Niki Lauda has vehemently criticised Liberty Media's decision to eliminate the presence of grid girls in Formula 1.

Speaking to Austria's Der Standard, the Mercedes non-executive chairman has qualified the move as "completely incomprehensible".

"How dumb can someone be? Women have emancipated themselves and do very well at it," argues Lauda.

"So this is a decision against women."

The controversial decision to bring F1 in line with society's so-called "progressive" trends has sparked a fiery debate with opposing camps arguing the gird girl case.

"I think it's a great pity to break a tradition such as this, which does Formula 1 but above all women no favours at all."

The three-time world champion hopes there is a "way to reverse the decision", or blend girls with boys on the grid. Lauda also opposes the idea that grid girls send the wrong message to female individuals who wish to work in other areas of motor sport.

"I would not mind seeing grid boys next to the girls. Why not?" he said.

"I want to encourage rather than diminish women. But once again it is men who have decided over the heads of women."

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