Mansour Ojjeh, long-time shareholder in McLaren, passes away aged 68

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 29:  Mansour Ojjeh of McLaren looks on in the pits during final practice

McLaren have announced that Mansour Ojjeh, a shareholder and significant figure in the team since 1984, has passed away aged 68.

Ojjeh first became involved in motor racing in 1979, when TAG – the group founded by his father – became sponsors of the Williams team. Buoyed by the investment, the squad soon won their first race and championships, before then-McLaren boss Ron Dennis convinced Ojjeh to invest in his team, where he remained a senior figure for more than 30 years.

"The passing of Mansour Ojjeh has devastated everyone at McLaren Racing," said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

"Mansour has been etched into the heart and soul of this team for nearly 40 years and was intrinsic to its success. He was a true racer in every sense. Ultra-competitive, determined, passionate and, above all, perhaps his defining characteristic: sporting. No matter the intensity of the battle, Mansour always put sport first.

"Mansour was a titan of our sport, yet modest, unassuming and disarming to all he encountered. His easy manner, sharp wit and warm humour touched all those who were fortunate to know him.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Mansour Ojjeh of Saudi Arabia with Jonathan Neale of Great Britain

Ojjeh (left) with McLaren Group COO Jonathan Neale and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown at Silverstone in 2018

"His love of this team was palpable for all to see and those of us privileged to work for McLaren will remember Mansour as an impressive yet humble, human, father-figure who showed us at the most individual, personal level how to fight adversity and be resilient.

"He will remain in death what he was in life: a constant inspiration to all of us at McLaren and beyond. Mansour’s legacy is secure. It is woven into this team and perpetual. We race on as he would wish, our resolve stronger than ever, with his memory and legacy forever in our hearts and minds.

"All at McLaren Racing express their deepest sympathies to his entire family."

Figures from across the world of F1 offered their own tributes to Ojjeh, including F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali. “I was shocked to hear that our very good friend Mansour has passed away," he said.

"He was someone with incredible talent, passion and energy and was a giant of our sport. I will miss him greatly and so will the whole F1 community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Kathy and their beautiful family who he was utterly dedicated to and who were his real passion in life.”

Former McLaren driver Martin Brundle, now a commentator for Sky Sports, added: “This is terribly sad news. The nicest, most straightforward, and genuine person I’ve ever met in Formula 1. A quality man at every level. Condolences to his wonderful family, and his many many friends, which I’m proud to have been one of.”

A minute's silence will be held ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Ojjeh and former FIA President Max Mosley, who passed away last month.



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