BBC F1 chief quits role

The BBC’s head of Formula One has decided to quit his post only days after the British broadcasting company unveiled what it hopes will be superior coverage of the 2009 season.

Niall Sloane, who was also head of football, was widely believed to take on the Formula One portfolio with BBC North director Peter Salmon describing him as the “outstanding candidate for the job.”

However, the BBC have announced that the position has gone to Barbara Slater, who has been with the beeb since 1983 and has previously held the position of Head of General Sports.

Sloane meanwhile is being tipped to move to ITV to take on the vacant role as controller of sport.

“He is leaving to take on new challenges,” a BBC spokesman revealed to the Guardian. “He is very happy Barbara got the job and wishes her all the best for the future.”

Sloane will remain with the BBC for the first two races of the season before handing responsibility for the F1 coverage to Ben Gallop currently head of BBC interactive.