Mansour Ojjeh: McLaren major shareholder, and an influential figure in the team’s history, dies aged 68

·2-min read
<p>Mansour Ojjeh and Lewis Hamilton in 2015</p> (Getty Images)

Mansour Ojjeh and Lewis Hamilton in 2015

(Getty Images)

Mansour Ojjeh, a major shareholder in McLaren for nearly 40 years, has died aged 68.

Ojjeh has been key figure in the history of McLaren since he bought into the team in 1984 and he was a driving force in the success of the team alongside his former partner Ron Dennis.

A statement from McLaren: “It is with deep sadness that McLaren Racing announces the death of Mansour Ojjeh, shareholder of McLaren since 1984.

“Mr Ojjeh passed away peacefully this morning in Geneva, aged 68, surrounded by his family, to whom the team sends its most heartfelt condolences.”

Ojjeh, a Paris-born Saudi billionaire, maintained a low-profile public profile but he was instrumental in McLaren's success over three decades.

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His career spanned McLaren winning 10 drivers' titles with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, and nine constructors' championships.

Ojjeh had eased his involvement in McLaren following a double lung transplant in 2013.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said Ojjeh “has been etched into the heart and soul of this team”.

Brown described Ojjeh as a “titan of our sport” and said: “The passing of Mansour Ojjeh has devastated everyone at McLaren Racing. 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.

“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.”

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