Murray Walker has voiced his concern about whether the return of Formula 1 to the BBC in 2009 is a good move, suggesting ITV 'devoted a lot more time' to the sport during its recently-ended twelve-year stint than did Auntie previously.

The BBC covered F1 in Britain all the way up to 1996, with much-loved veteran commentator Walker at the helm, but the 85-year-old jumped ship when ITV acquired the broadcasting rights in 1997, and remained on-board until he retired in 2001.

From his experience of working for both companies, he suggests the Beeb - who he claims didn't invest 'the right people and facilities' last time around - will have a hard act to follow if it is to improve on ITV's offering.

"ITV devoted a lot more time to Formula 1 than the BBC ever did," Walker told The Independent newspaper, "and they did an absolutely superb job.

"They will have a hard furrow to plough to even match the ITV coverage.

"[The BBC] didn't appreciate how important it was. ITV spent a great deal on those rights and they made the most of them. They devoted a lot more time than the BBC ever did."


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