MIAMI – Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly has revealed the “best experience of [his] life” – and it wasn’t his stunning victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
The Alpha Tauri ace had dinner with basketball legend Michael Jordan in Miami, swapping stories for three hours in what was “by far” his greatest life experience.
“It was the most inspiring dinner I’ve ever had… I will remember [it] my whole life,” Gasly told reporters ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, which he called “the Super Bowl of F1.”
“Everyone says you should never meet your idols because you can only be disappointed and for me it’s just the opposite.”
Gasly said he was particularly impressed with the six-time NBA champion’s “mentality” which puts him in “another league”.
“The guy is a genius…the way he thinks intellectually. I was very, very impressed,” continued the French driver, noting that the basketball great was a “huge F1 fan.”
“He almost knows the sport better than I do. It was very impressive and just great to chat with such a legend. I didn’t know he woke up every Sunday morning to watch all of our races. Everyone can imagine that it’s not easy being Michael Jordan and showing up at events… So even if we don’t see him, he follows everything.
Gasly gifted Jordan one of his crash helmets on his maiden F1 win at Monza of 2020, while the sporting icon returned the favor with a pair of signature Jordan trainers.
In return, Gasly had a pair of his own Jordan sneakers signed by the man himself, which Gasly says goes “in my trophy cabinet.”
“It was more about trading with such a champion,” Gasly said. “You always learn a lot about these guys and how they approach sport, success, failure – anything – and how they got to that level and maintained that performance.
“I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world I would have liked to meet more than him. So it was definitely a very, very special dinner.
Elsewhere, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has teamed up with a legend from another sport: seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.
The couple teamed up with the Miami Beach Golf Club at a charity event with Swiss luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen.
“I’ll stick to driving on the track,” Hamilton joked after sending a golf shot through the water off the 10th tee.