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.

Usain Bolt, Bill Clinton among headline guests for USGP at COTA

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The Circuit of The Americas paddock ahead of the United States Grand Prix may have been busy with teams and drivers preparing for lights out, but much of the attention lay with a number of headline guests including former presidents and Olympic champions.

As part of its plans to up the excitement levels ahead of Sunday’s grand prix and mirror other sporting events, F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, announced plans a couple of weeks ago to link up with iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt for the pre-race festivities.

Ahead of today’s race in Austin, Buffer will introduce the drivers in a number of groups before offering the call for drivers to start their engines, similar to the pre-race procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

Honorary race starter Bolt, who competed in his last athletic world championship event in London earlier this year, will appear on the start line to complete his signature victory pose before waving the green flags to launch the formation lap.

Bolt was also treated to a hot lap around COTA by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton before the start of the formal pre-race build up program in Austin.

Liberty issued a list of celebrities and other public figures who are confirmed to be attending today’s race, including Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and actor Owen Wilson among others.

One name that wasn’t on the list? 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who quickly became a focus for the paddock upon arrival three hours before lights out.

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET today.