The BBC warned Bernie Ecclestone about "facing problems", the F1 chief executive has admitted.

Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone

Photo by: xpb.cc

His comments follow reports this week that the British broadcaster's highly respected free-to-air live television coverage of Formula One might be dropped for 2013.

It has been feared that the only option for F1 in the BBC's absence would be Rupert Murdoch's pay network Sky, but the Daily Mail newspaper said ITV - the F1 broadcaster between 1997 to 2008 - might also be interested.

"We want Formula One to stay free to viewers," Ecclestone said. "That is 100 per cent.

"They (the BBC) did warn me that they were facing problems but, so far, nothing more has been said. I hope they want to keep us because it is such a success and I will do my best," the 80-year-old added.

It has been suggested the reports might indicate the BBC's desire to continue to broadcast F1 with improved contractual terms.