WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying – can anyone stop Mercedes?

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Formula 1 returns from its summer break this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. After dominating the first half of the season, Mercedes is keen to pick up where it left off this weekend by securing win number ten of the season.

The Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be gunning to grab pole position in today’s qualifying session, but with rain falling and the likes of Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo drawing close, it should be an interesting fight at the front.

You can watch qualifying live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Hamilton and Rosberg shared the Friday sessions, and both look to be in good stead for qualifying later today. However, in a rain-affected final session, it was the Williams of Valtteri Bottas that rose to the top of the timesheets, giving the team some hope of securing its second pole position of the season.

With Spa being typically indecisive about its weather, it could be a topsy-turvy qualifying session. The cool conditions have suited Ferrari so far this weekend, but the team has struggled on Saturdays so far this season.

The stage is set for an intriguing battle for pole position. Be sure to join us at 8am ET on CNBC and Live Extra for full coverage. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”