The Czech F1 GP media storm

Prague - the object of F1 rumours

Prague - the object of F1 rumours

It is amazing to see how quickly the F1 media picked up the story that Czech Republic is targeting F1 street race in Prague. Well it is not Czech Republic, it is not Prague, it is Mr. Antonin Charouz. And he is not exactly planning F1 race in Prague. He is talking about building a race race track somewhere in Prague that perhaps one day (in his dreams) may host F1 race. But news about someone planning to build a semi street race track at the outskirts of Prague would hardly attract as much attention as news about Czech Republic or Prague targeting F1 race…

What I found interesting on this story was that while many serious F1 sites had the “Czech Republic targets grand prix” or similar articles in prominent places on their websites, there was not a word on that topic in Czech news. Yes, it made it to Czech portals eventually, few days later. But unlike the international journalists the local ones took much different view of the things. One of the major Czech news portals opted for a title that might have looked in English like this “Formula 1 in Prague, attempt number 2. Charouz full of … again ?” . The F1 portal has also an article on this “media tornado” that starts:

In this internet times all you need is a spark and next minute there is an avalanche spreading the bombshell of a news that Czech republic is targeting organizing an F1. Exactly this is happening at this hour.

The news quoting the father of the idea, Antonin Charouz was first published by British Autosport magazine this week. Few hours later it was all over the internet.

The article goes on stressing the same I mentioned above – It is not Czech Republic nor is it Prague targeting F1 race. It is Mr. Antonin Charouz who needs a PR storm from time. And to have himself mentioned all around the F1 media in connection with possible F1 race in rather well known tourist city can’t do him too much harm. With so many serious sites picking up his story in no time he must have had it well planned (and well executed).

He floated the F1 Prague idea for the first time in 2006. The track was to be designed by Hermann Tilke, financed by mysterious investors and ready by 2009. All that is ready by end of 2009 is another F1 in Prague story…

For those who may not have heard about Mr. Charouz before. He is indeed a motorsport person. Former racing driver himself he runs several companies, racing teams and manages several drivers. The best known probably is Tomas Enge whom he pushed all the way to F1 for three races with Prost in 2001. Charouz also ran the Czech A1GP team. His company BPA also runs several racing teams Aston Martin Racing, Racing Team, Charouz Racing System, CNG Rally Team, Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe and ISR. The ISR team competes in Formula Masters and Formula 3 Euroseries. One of their drivers is Alex Rossi, now trying to make his mark in GP2. Antonin Charouz’s son Jan made his GP2 debut last week during the tests in France.

Rossi and Janis

Erik Janis and Alex Rossi - Formula Masters

Charouz definitely has a serious racing pedigree. But to organize and pay for an F1 race is very different cup of tea, ask Damon Hill. Things may change one day in distant future, but at this moment the whole F1 in Prague story is just that, a story …

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ChristineNo Gravatar says:

    I have been to Prague – a long time ago now – it certainly didn’t seem like the kind of place that would want a Formula 1 race.

  2. mr. c.No Gravatar says:

    i hadn’t heard of mr charouz before.  very interesting to hear what his own country thinks of him.
    am wondering if there was any bernie involvement in this story, or maybe someone close? it was picked up by some big-hitters, but as you point out contains only small amounts of substance.
    i wonder who benefitted from this?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      am wondering if there was any bernie involvement in this story

      I think that this whole thing had nothing to do with bringing F1 race to Prague. But for example if you are thinking about building a race track telling the potential investors that one day perhaps F1 may become a topic too would certainly attract some attention. And it did, just look at the F1 portals last week … Even if there is no plan to build any track – He has several racing programs that do require some serious funding. It might have cost him some PR budget to get to Autosport but from then on it was free publicity …

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