Mansour Ojjeh, long-standing McLaren shareholder, dies at 68

2021 F1 season

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Mansour Ojjeh, whose backing of the McLaren team transformed it into a powerhouse Formula 1 outfit of the eighties and nineties, has died at the age of 68.

Ojjeh became involved in the team through his father Akram’s Techniques D’Avant Garde company, which financed the Porsche-built turbo engines which powered the team to a string of championship successes in the mid-eighties. TAG entered F1 through a sponsorship deal with Williams in the seventies.

After becoming a Mclaren shareholder in 1984, Ojjeh remained a loyal constant at the team, and supported its expansion beyond Formula 1 into road car manufacturing and through its Applied Technologies division.

“We have fantastic people, we have great vision, we have an unbelievable brand,” he said in 2018. “I want every part of McLaren to be successful – we want the road cars to be successful, we want the F1 car to be successful, we want Applied Technologies to be successful. That’s what it’s all about – success and winning.”

The team announced in a statement Ojjeh “passed away peacefully this morning in Geneva, aged 68, surrounded by his family.”

“All at McLaren Racing mourn his loss together with his family, to whom the team sends its most heartfelt condolences,” it added.

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McLaren drivers past and present, rival teams, FIA president Jean Todt and Formula 1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali were among the first to pay tribute to Ojjeh. “I was shocked to hear that our very good friend Mansour has passed away,” said Domenicali. “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.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said Ojjeh’s death has “devastated everyone” at the team.

“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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 6 comments on “Mansour Ojjeh, long-standing McLaren shareholder, dies at 68”

    1. Oh no, that’s awful news!

      RIP Mansour, you’ve contributed more to F1 than most casual fans will ever know….

    2. As @geemac says, this guy has contributed hugely to F1. He is one of the main reasons behind the Williams team being as strong as they were in the early 80s and with McLaren in the later part of the 80s and early 90s. A huge miss for Williams, McLaren and F1. RIP Mansour

    3. R.I.P. Mansour Ojjeh.

    4. Mansour Ojjeh backed Ron Dennis’s all conquering McLaren TAG Porsche’s which debuted in Kyalami SA, the last race in ’83. It retired, but arguably the best F1 commentator sidekick, James Hunt R.I.P. stated [and he would know!!!] that give it bigger radiators & brakes, one will only see its exhaust pipes. WDCs’ for Niki R.I.P. & Alain.
      R.I.P. Mansour, and thank you for such a positive influence to make F! enjoyable to so-o-o many.

    5. Sad news. RIP Mansour, you were one of the great creators of modern Formula 1. Thank you for loving and supporting our great sport.

    6. They all forgot to mention he was arms dealer.

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