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Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying: Sergio Perez beats Ferraris to pole, Lewis Hamilton 16th as Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi crash



Pole position qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Lars Baron | Getty Images

Sergio Perez claimed pole position in a dramatic Saudi Arabian GP qualifying which saw Lewis Hamilton eliminated early in 16th and two drivers heavily crash out, with Mick Schumacher airlifted to hospital after a big shunt.

Perez edged the Ferraris to seal a superb and unexpected first pole position for Red Bull in his 219th Grand Prix, with the epic Q3 shootout completing a Jeddah qualifying session full of significant moments.

Nicholas Latifi earlier crashed out in Q1 in the Williams before a major shock as Hamilton, F1’s most successful driver in a previously dominant Mercedes, was knocked out in the first segment for the first time since 2017.

There were more red flags in Q2 as Schumacher lost control of his Haas before a huge crash at Turn 12, which led to an hour delay to qualifying as the Haas car was removed and the Jeddah street track repaired.

Schumacher was airlifted to hospital but was said to be “physically fine” and was released late on Saturday night. He will, however, miss Sunday’s race.

Ten drivers went through to Q3, and not many would have predicted Perez as the favorite.

But just as Charles Leclerc looked set to head a Ferrari one-two on the grid for Sunday’s race, Perez pumped in one of the laps of his career to beat the Monegasque by just 0.025s.

Carlos Sainz was third ahead of Max Verstappen, Perez’s Red Bull team-mate who was surprisingly off-color when it mattered most. Red Bull and Ferrari are likely to go head-to-head for the win in F1’s fastest street race.

George Russell, managing to get much more out of the Mercedes than Hamilton, qualified sixth behind the impressive Esteban Ocon in the Alpine.

Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying Results — top 10

  1. Sergio Perez, Red Bull
  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  5. Esteban Ocon, Alpine
  6. George Russell, Mercedes
  7. Fernando Alonso, Alpine
  8. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  9. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
  10. Kevin Magnussen, Haas

Hamilton’s Q1 exit and scary crashes: Qualy drama in Saudi

Saudi Arabian GP qualifying took place following crisis talks between the drivers late into Friday night after a missile attack on a nearby oil facility. It was finally decided between F1, the FIA and the grid that they would continue with the Jeddah event, with final practice and qualifying taking place as planned on Saturday.

There was drama throughout the shootout, and it all started in Q1 with Latifi’s crash at Turn 13, with the Williams the first to push the limits of the unforgiving Corniche circuit. He was taken to the medical center, but was unharmed.

That preceded one of the biggest shocks in recent qualifying memory with Hamilton eliminated in 16th.

It was not due to weather or bad luck; Hamilton was down in that position on a lack of pace alone and despite his best efforts and plenty of flying laps on the softest tires, he was subjected to a humiliating exit when Lance Stroll improved.

It was his first Q1 elimination since the 2017 Brazilian GP when he crashed, and his first with no mitigating factors since the 2009 British GP.

Hamilton sounded surprised when told of the deficit to Russell, who was fourth in that segment, and Sky F1’s Paul Di Resta said: “That’s not the Lewis Hamilton we know.

“There must be something within that car that’s not right.”

There was then another crash, this time more significant, as Schumacher slammed sideways into the barriers at Turn 12 during Q2.

Track marshals clean debris from the track after Haas’ Mick Schumacher crashed during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022.

Clive Mason | Getty Images

Pictures did not immediately show replays — leading to fears over his well-being — although the German, son of F1 legend Michael, was said to be conscious before making his way to the medical center.

Haas stated he was “physically fine” but he was airlifted to hospital in a helicopter for further precautionary checks. He was released later but will not line up for Sunday’s race, and Haas will not call up a replacement.

Perez sets up another Red Bull vs Ferrari battle

Following an hour delay, Q2 concluded — with Lando Norris narrowly avoiding the top-10 shootout in the McLaren — before Ferrari appeared to be romping away in the battle for pole in Q3.

Verstappen, who is almost exclusively Red Bull’s lead driver on a Saturday, endured what he described as a “terrible” first lap while Leclerc and Sainz found form. But just as it looked like Ferrari were going to continue their perfect start to F1 2022, Perez pumped in purple sectors on his way to snatching pole.

“I can do a 1,000 laps and I don’t think I can beat that lap, it was unbelievable,” said the Mexican.

It’s set up for a cracking race with Red Bull and Ferrari fighting at the front and a mixed-up grid behind. Watch it all on Sky Sports F1 at 6pm, with build-up from 4.30pm.

Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying Timesheet

Position Driver Team Time
1 Sergio Perez Red Bull 01:28.2
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.025
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.202
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.261
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.868
6 George Russell Mercedes +0.904
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.947
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +0.983
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1.054
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1.388
11 Lando Norris McLaren 01:29.7
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 01:29.8
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 01:29.8
14 Mick Schumacher Haas 01:29.9
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 01:31.0
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 01:30.3
17 Alex Albon Williams 01:30.5
18 Nico Hulkenburg Aston Martin 01:30.5
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 01:31.8
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri No time set

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Trump media company subpoenaed in federal criminal probe of SPAC deal



Former U.S. President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition during their annual “Road To Majority Policy Conference” at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Seth Herald | Getty Images

Donald Trump’s media company was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in connection with a criminal probe, according to the company with which the former president’s firm plans to merge.

Digital World Acquisition Corp. said in a filing Friday that Trump Media and Technology Group received a subpoena from the grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday. The Trump company also received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a civil probe on Monday, DWAC said.

DWAC also said some current and former TMTG employees have also recently received grand jury subpoenas.

The filing came days after DWAC said the government investigations could delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s newly formed company, which includes Truth Social, a social media app intended to be an alternative to Twitter.

Neither TMTG nor a spokeswoman for Trump immediately responded to CNBC’s requests for comment.

The Justice Department and the SEC, which regulates the stock market, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, which is a kind of shell company called a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Trump’s firm would gain access to potentially billions of dollars on public equities markets.

Trump established Truth Social months after Twitter banned him for his tweets on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump Media’s CEO is former Rep. Devin Nunes, one of the former president’s most ardent loyalists in the Republican Party. Trump is also considering whether to run for president in the 2024 election.

Trump has continued to spread the lie that the election was stolen from him. His alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection is being probed by a House select committee that has accused the former president of being at the center of a multipronged conspiracy to block the peaceful transfer of power to Biden.

Early criticism of the Trump-DWAC deal came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In calling for an investigation, she wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler in November, telling him that DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting this information in [SEC] filing and other public statements.”

DWAC shares are far off their highs, closing Friday at $24.20. The stock had surged above $90 in October, after the deal with Trump’s group was announced.

DWAC on Monday revealed in a securities filing that it learned June 16 that each member of its board of directors received subpoenas from the same federal grand jury.

The grand jury sought documents similar to those the SEC already requested as part of its civil probe, DWAC said. The company itself was served with a subpoena a week ago with similar requests, along with other requests relating to communications, individuals and information involving Rocket One Capital.

DWAC also revealed Monday that a board member, Bruce J. Garelick, had told management that he would quit the board during the previous week. Garelick said his resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with Digital World’s operations, policies or practices,” according to the company filing.

— CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger and Thomas Franck contributed to this story.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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Walmart is working on a response to the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, CEO says in memo



Walmart CEO Doug McMillon speaks at the CNBC Evolve conference November 19th in Los Angeles.

Jesse Grant | CNBC

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told employees on Friday that the company is weighing how to respond to a Supreme Court decision that ended the federal right to an abortion.

“We are working thoughtfully and diligently to figure out the best path forward, guided by our desire to support our associates, all of our associates,” he said in a memo sent to employees on Friday. “We will share details on our actions as soon as possible, recognizing that time is of the essence.”

He did not say what changes the company is considering, such as if it may cover travel expenses for workers who must travel to another state where abortion is available.

The memo was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Arkansas, home to Walmart’s headquarters, is one of several states with severe limits or bans on abortions that went into affect after the high court’s ruling.

Walmart is also the country’s largest private employer. It has about 1.6 million employees across the country, including many who live and work in states across the Sunbelt with abortion restrictions such as Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

Since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, companies across the country have had a mix of reactions. Some, including JPMorgan Chase, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target, have announced new plans to cover employee travel to other states for abortions. Others, such as Kroger and Apple, said they already cover travel for medical treatments and reproductive health care. And still others have remained quiet.

Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the country, said in May that it would pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses each year for non-life-threatening medical treatments, including abortions.

Walmart already covers employee travel for some medical procedures, such as certain heart surgeries, cancer treatments and organ transplants.

Walmart health benefits cover only some abortions. According to the company’s employee handbook, charges for “procedures, services, drugs and supplies related to abortions or termination of pregnancy are not covered, except when the health of the mother would be in danger if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth.”

Plan B, an over-the-counter form of contraception, is covered only if the person gets a prescription. The pill, often called the “morning after pill,” works by preventing ovulation or preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. It can be taken after unprotected sex or when contraception fails.

Other forms of contraception are also covered with a prescription, including birth control pills, injections and intrauterine devices, or IUDs. Some anti-abortion activists also oppose IUDs because they can stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

In Friday’s memo, McMillon said Walmart has gathered input from employees as it decides what to do. He also alluded to the size and diversity of both the company and its customer base.

“We know our associates and customers hold a variety of views on the issue, and this is a sensitive topic about which many of us feel strongly,” he said. “We want you to know that we see you, all of you. No matter what your position on this topic is, we want you to feel respected, valued and supported.”

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FCC authorizes SpaceX to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes and trucks



The Starlink logo is seen in the background of a silhouetted woman holding a mobile phone.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission authorized SpaceX to provide Starlink satellite internet to vehicles in motion, a key step for Elon Musk’s company to further expand the service.

“Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” FCC international bureau chief Tom Sullivan wrote in the authorization posted Thursday.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the FCC decision.

Starlink is SpaceX’s network of satellites in low Earth orbit, designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere on the globe. SpaceX has launched about 2,700 satellites to support the global network, with the base price of the service costing users $110 a month. As of May, SpaceX told the FCC that Starlink had more than 400,000 subscribers.

SpaceX has signed early deals with commercial air carriers in preparation for this decision: It has pacts with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private charter provider JSX to provide Wi-Fi on planes. Up until now SpaceX has been approved to conduct a limited amount of inflight testing, seeing the aviation Wi-Fi market as “ripe for an overhaul.”

The FCC’s authorization also includes connecting to ships and vehicles like semi-trucks and RVs, with SpaceX having last year requested to expand from servicing stationary customers. SpaceX had already deployed a version of its service called “Starlink for RVs,” with an additional “portability” fee. But portability is not the same as mobility, which the FCC’s decision now allows.

The FCC imposed conditions on in-motion Starlink service. SpaceX is required to “accept any interference received from both current and future services authorized,” and further investment in Starlink will “assume the risk that operations may be subject to additional conditions or requirements” from the FCC.

The ruling did not resolve a broader SpaceX regulatory dispute with Dish Network and RS Access, an entity backed by billionaire Michael Dell, over the use of 12-gigahertz band – a range of frequency used for broadband communications. The FCC continues to analyze whether the band can support both ground-based and space-based services, with SpaceX pushing for the regulator to make a ruling.

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