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.

Dean Wilson’s life as a privateer reconnects the rider to his roots

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One of the added benefits of subscribing to NBC Sports Gold is the in-depth interviews from each Saturday’s action. Last week between the first and second rounds of qualification for the Glendale Supercross race, a relaxed and confident Dean Wilson joined Race Day Live’s Daniel Blair and Jim Holley to review his fourth-place finish in the season opener and his mindset moving forward.

Losing factory support from Rockstar / Husqvarna at the end of 2018 was not exactly what Wilson had in mind, but after getting off to a great start in the first two races this season, it may well have been a blessing in disguise.

The life of a privateer is not exactly relaxed, but it affords a rider the opportunity to call his own shots. For Wilson, it is also a way to reconnect with the grassroots feel that attracted him to Supercross in the first place.

“I think that’s what I like,” Wilson said on Race Day Live. “I think that’s the environment and atmosphere I like – it’s just more low key. At Anaheim I, you would think I was local racing at Glen Helen. I had a Sprinter and I had another trailer just to chill in, do my spins. It was so cold I had a little propane heater to warm me up. But I like that. That’s what works for me.”

MORE: Dean Wilson’s Cinderella story at Anaheim 

The program Wilson was able to put together during the offseason produced back-to back top 10s – a much better start to the 2019 season than he experienced last year.

In 2018, Wilson did not score a top 10 until his fourth feature at San Diego. His first top five would not come until late March in Indianapolis.

This year Wilson got the hole shot and led 14 laps at Anaheim in the opener before finishing fourth. Last week in Glendale, he finished eighth.

“What was going through my head was ‘it’s about time; it’s about five years too late to lead some laps here,’ ” Wilson described his emotion as he led at Anaheim. “It was nice because I did a lot of work in the off-season and my starts were really good. The thing is I haven’t over-analyzed my starts and practice.”

At Anaheim I, Wilson struggled with visibility as his goggles began to get fouled by mud. A once comfortable lead was eroded by Justin Barcia. With pressure from behind, Wilson made a minor mistake that was then compounded by lapped traffic.

“I was leading my laps; I was just trying to hit my marks. I was doing really well until I made a couple of mistakes. I couldn’t hit that middle double, double … the rut was getting real chewed out, but I was already on the right side where you couldn’t double the middle part so you had to go roll, roll, roll – and Barcia was already on me.”

Wilson’s pair of top 10s was enough to keep him fifth in the standings, three points behind Glendale’s winner Blake Baggett.

For more, watch the video above.

Next Race: Anaheim II Jan. 19, 11 p.m., NBCSN

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