When he’s not smoking cigars and reminiscing about his legendary career or watching the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan is out there chopping it up with Formula 1 racers. Pierre Gasly, a French racing driver representing Scuderia AlphaTauri, never in his life imagined that he’d one day meet Jordan, who he only thought he’d see on the posters he hung in his driving room — until a mutual partner saw them.
A dinner planned for 2
Jordan’s business partner Raj Montana — who happens to be working with Gasly as well— saw how much the young driver idolized the greatest basketball player of all time. Montana then set up a dinner for the two in Miami a day before Gasly raced, and alas, the F1 driver met his idol.
“I had dinner with MJ just before the Miami Grand Prix. Three hours dinner and that was just incredible to chat with him about his career, mentality, the leadership that he still had and still has, how competitive he is and that was just a magical moment,” Gasly said in his appearance in the Slow News Day podcast.
“He [Jordan] knew all the driver’s names even those drivers that finished last. It’s not usually the ones you hear always on TV, you always hear about the winners. He did mention a couple of names and I was like yup definitely a big fan if you can name those guys. We talked about my career, he had a couple of tips on how you know, negotiations and how to handle contracts so it was just great to hear all his experiences and knowledge,” Gasly added.
An upcoming star racer
Unfortunately, the 26-year-old race driver ended up in 18th place in the Miami Grand Prix tournament after being unable to finish the contest. Still, the flying French man is expected to be a rising star in the sport. He may not be as great as Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton, but he’s gradually making a name for himself.
Gasly’s next competition will be on his home track in France (French Grand Prix), where he plans to bounce back and be a hometown hero.
As for Jordan, it’s remarkable to hear stories about him breaking bread with young athletes outside of basketball. It’s also cool to know that MJ is a huge F1 fan and knows the sport just like a die-hard fan, according to Gasly. Who knows, maybe Jordan might’ve just inspired and changed a rising F1 racer’s life after chopping it up with him.
Having dinner with Jordan is a moment Gasly said he would never forget as it made him the happiest guy in the world.