Former NASCAR driver Willy T Ribbs says that NBA legend Michael Jordan is a smart guy and together with Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace he has all of the ingredients he needs to get the job done and to succeed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 23IX Racing.
Speaking to Paddock Eye during a Zoom conference call on Sunday, Ribbs said that the new team will require great engineering and the grunt out of the new car and that Toyota are strong however he would have liked to see Michael Jordan go to Formula One as it would have been a better fit for Jordan as a global brand.
Speaking to Paddock Eye about Lewis Hamilton, Ribbs said that without doubt he is the greatest of them all and he sees himself more than a racing driver and that he is a role model that people look up to and that he is using his platform and that there are a lot of drivers and athletes who don’t do what Hamilton does because they want to protect their bank accounts.
Ribbs said that the people who give out about Hamilton don’t care about the good that Hamilton has done not just for Formula One but motorsport in general but outside of that he is using he platform to make the world a better and more inclusive place.
Speaking about the new diversity programme launched by the series Ribbs said that NASCAR is light years ahead of IndyCar and that Formula One is light years ahead of NASCAR.
Speaking about the Indianapolis 500 he said it is probably the toughest race on the planet as you are there for a month not just three days and you could feel great but if the car is not performing, one bump change or ride height make all the difference in the world at Indy and the weather plays havoc over there as it can get into your head.
You have to keep you head clean if it is right you know it right away, if it is wrong you know it right away. What will we look like in an hour from now. If the weather changes during the race it is unstable at the back end in Turn 4, you are communicating with your engineers, try not to make mistakes, you come in and make adjustments, you want the changes to be good. It is unlike anywhere else on the planet.
Speaking about the Aeroscreen he believes it looks like a barn door. He loves the Halo from Formula One but realizes now however as it is a case it improves safety, you think back at how the drivers were so brave as they didn’t know any better.
Speaking about the return of Kyle Larson to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2021, Ribbs said he is excited to see him come back as believes Larson got a raw deal from NASCAR and their officials and he says that NASCAR using Larson as a scape goat for their own failures was wrong.
Ribbs believes that Larson should have been fined by NASCAR but instead he feels that Larson was lynched by the sport. Ribbs said that as he has gotten to know Larson he believes that he is a very good young man and that he made a mistake and that we all make mistakes but he feels if someone like Jackie Stewart was to make a similar remark he should know better.
Ribbs spoke to Paddock Eye about six time IndyCar Series champion, Scott Dixon who he says is smooth and he reminds him of Paul Newman and he is like a pool player. Ribbs said Dixon is awesome.