WATCH LIVE: Belgian Grand Prix race day on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET

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Following a month-long summer break, Formula 1 has returned this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the heart of the Ardennes forest.

Lewis Hamilton showed few signs of easing off at the start of the second half of the season at Spa as he stormed to his tenth pole position of the season on Saturday.

The British driver will lead the field away from the grid on Sunday afternoon, but will have to remain wary of the threat posed by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg from second place on the grid.

Hamilton and Rosberg are currently separated by 21 points at the top of the drivers’ championship, making this weekend’s race a crucial one.

You can watch the Belgian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Should Hamilton win for a sixth time in 2015, his lead would be more than one full race win. However, if he were to hit trouble, Rosberg could yet move to the top of the championship standings for the first time this year.

Behind the Mercedes drivers, an enthralling fight to complete the podium is poised to take place after just 0.3 seconds separated P3 and P9 in qualifying on Saturday. Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus and Force India all look capable of a charge at Spa, creating the possibility for a great variation in strategies.

Spa being Spa, the paddock will be keeping one eagle eye on the sky. Although we have not had any rain so far this weekend, the Belgian Grand Prix has a reputation for unexpected showers, meaning that the teams cannot rest on their laurels when it comes to strategy.

F1 is back, and where better to kick off the second half of the season than Spa?

You can watch the Belgian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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