McLaren F1 shareholder Mansour Ojjeh dies aged 68

Mansour Ojjeh, who had been a shareholder in the McLaren Formula 1 team since 1984, has passed away. He was 68.

McLaren said in a statement on Sunday morning that the Swiss-born businessman died in Geneva surrounded by his family.

While Ojjeh was most famously known in F1 circles for his decades long involvement with McLaren, his first entry in the sport actually began with Williams.

His father established the Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG) investment firm which became a backer of Williams in 1979.

The British team took its first F1 victory that year at the British Grand Prix, with it going on to win the F1 world championship with Alan Jones in 1980.

Ojjeh was approached by then McLaren boss Ron Dennis at the end of 1981 with the view to TAG becoming a partner in his team, and a deal was put together that involved funding of a Porsche-built turbo engine.

The McLaren-TAG partnership became ultra successful, with Niki Lauda and Alain Prost dominating the 1984 world championship.

Later that year, Ojjeh became a majority shareholder in McLaren as the team went on to deliver more world championship titles.

Ojjeh was the inspiration behind McLaren's push into the automotive industry, after managing to convince Dennis that producing a road car would make good commercial sense.

TAG's involvement in McLaren remained strong through the road car, electronics and marketing divisions of the company.

While Dennis stepped away from the McLaren F1 team, Ojjeh remained loyal to the outfit – although his shareholding was diluted over the years with Bahrain investment firm Mumtalakat becoming investors.

Ojjeh also battled ill health and in late 2013 he had a double lung transplant after suffering with IPF lung disease.

Although returning to full fitness and continuing work with McLaren, in 2020 he handed over his place on the team's board to his son Sultan.

Ojjeh remained a big fan of F1 though. In an interview with Autosport in 2017, he said that his involvement at McLaren felt like being part of a family.

"I like seeing the people, some of whom I have known for a very long time, I like going into the garage, I like being in the pits. Of course I like winning when we're doing well," he said.

"It's just the challenge of Formula 1, I think. And being in different countries. I like to go around and to thank the people who work for us and make this happen, because they need accolades. With 3500 people in the company, it's the least we can do."

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly "doesn't have an answer" for improved Baku form
Previous article

Gasly "doesn't have an answer" for improved Baku form

Next article

F1's braking focus behind Baku crash fest, says Ocon

F1's braking focus behind Baku crash fest, says Ocon
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021