ITV is expected to take over the Formula 1 free-to-air coverage in the United Kingdom from the BBC next year as it ends its broadcast contract three years early due to cost-cutting measures.

The corporation is poised to announce it will end its current broadcasting deal with F1 in which it pays an estimated ?12 million a year in a partnership with Sky Sports which runs until the end of the 2018 season.

The decision has been sparked by the BBC's large-scale cutbacks which has seen it already lose exclusive rights to show the rugby union's 6 Nations and golf's The Open Championship.

BBC returned to broadcasting F1 in 2009 after a 12-year gap when ITV held exclusive rights to the series and was the sole UK broadcaster for three years until Sky Sports stepped in.

According to The Telegraph, ITV is preparing to move in after Bernie Ecclestone made it clear he wants F1 to remain on terrestrial television rather than exclusively being handed to Sky.

It is also understood any deal including ITV would not impact Sky's existing contract with F1.