WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET

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Following the four-week long summer break, Formula 1 returns this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Few circuits stir the same kind of feeling among drivers and the sport’s loyal following than Spa thanks to its unique layout, mixing fast, sweeping corners with brutal straights through the Ardennes forest.

So far this weekend, Mercedes has shown few signs of letting up after the summer break as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished first and second in all three practice sessions, suggesting that the battle for pole position on Saturday will once again be between the two Silver Arrows.

Hamilton goes in search of his tenth pole position in 11 races this afternoon, but with Rosberg enjoying the edge in FP1 and FP2, it could be a closer affair this time around.

You can watch qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

It has been a far from routine weekend so far for Nico Rosberg, though. After suffering a loss of power in FP1, the German driver was sent careering off the track in FP2 thanks to a right-rear tire failure.

An investigation from F1 tire supplier Pirelli has confirmed that it was caused by a cut from an external body, meaning that there are no issues with the compounds that have been supplied at Spa this weekend.

It has also been a difficult weekend thus far for McLaren at Spa as the team has suffered yet more issues with its Honda power units. The team has already racked up 55 places worth of penalties, and this could yet pass 100 before the end of the day.

At the front though, we are poised for another tense fight between Hamilton and Rosberg at the site of their clash in 2014. Who will gain the upper hand in qualifying though?

You can watch qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.Β CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.