The 2015 Formula One season comes to an end at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend and as the curtain falls on what has been a dramatic season so too it would seem does the BBC’s live Formula One coverage.
It has been reported in the media this week that as part of a £35 million cost cutting programme at BBC Sport with Formula One taking up the majority of the budget costing an estimated £20 million a year. The corporation currently shares Formula One broadcast rights with Sky in the United Kingdom with the company showing half of the races live while for the remainder of the races they have highlights.
Suzi Perry who fronts the BBC F1 coverage recently signed a new contract with the BBC and should they cut the Formula One coverage it is likely that she may join Chris Evans at the new look Top Gear while former F1 driver and current BBC F1 co commentator David Coulthard could also move to Top Gear.
Formula One returned to the BBC in 2009 after the corporation won the rights to show the sport exclusively from ITV with Jake Humphrey leading the team alongside DC and Eddie Jordan while Ted Kravitz joined from ITV with Lee McKenzie also joining the team alongside Martin Brundle with David Croft working with BBC Five Live.
However in 2012 it was announced that Sky Sports had been awarded the contract for exclusively live coverage of Formula One however under the terms of the deal the BBC remained as an F1 broadcaster.
Sky raided the BBC talent pool taking Martin Brundle, Ted Kravitz, David Croft, Natalie Pinkham and Anthony Davidson across to Sky Sports F1,
Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that he has spoken to the BBC this week and he expects that despite the cuts that corporation will honor their contract which will not be renegotiated up to and including the 2018 Formula One season.