WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the Belgian Grand Prix

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Formula 1’s summer break comes to an end today with the first free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, which will see the drivers tackle the fearsome Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the 2014-spec cars for the first time.

You can watch FP1 on Live Extra from 4am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Spa is perhaps the most famous circuit in Formula 1, and stands as one of the few remaining classics on the calendar. As brilliant as the sport’s global expansion and domination is, we must endeavor to keep the truly legendary tracks alive and kicking if we are to remember its roots.

Nico Rosberg will be hoping to bounce back from his defeat to Lewis Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, with his lead now standing at just eleven points. The Briton is a fan of this track, though, having won the race back in 2010 for McLaren.

FP1 will also see Alexander Rossi step into the Marussia car for the first time ahead of his grand prix debut this weekend. The Californian has been drafted in to replace Max Chilton whilst his contractual issues are resolved, and he will be keen to impress as he becomes the first American to race in F1 since 2007.

You can watch all of the action from first practice at Spa on Live Extra from 4am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Rossi discharged from hospital after motorcross accident

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MotoGP star Valentino Rossi has been discharged from hospital after suffering injuries in a motorcross accident earlier this week.

Nine-time motorcycling world champion Rossi was diagnosed with “mild thoracic and abdominal trauma” after the accident on Thursday morning, resulting in his admission to the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, Italy.

The hospital noted in a statement that there were “no fractures detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies”, with Rossi recovering overnight with pain relief.

On Friday, a further statement was issued confirming that Rossi had been discharged from hospital.

“Valentino Rossi has returned home from the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, having successfully completed routine diagnostic tests that were scheduled earlier on Friday,” the statement reads.

“With the attending doctors confirming the findings shared in this morning‘s medical bulletin, the nine-time World Champion left the hospital at 5.30pm, accompanied by his staff.

“He will now continue the recovery process at home.”

The Yamaha rider’s next racing engagement comes next weekend with the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.