McLaren Racing announced the death of its longtime shareholder, Mansour Ojjeh, aged 68-years, ahead of the start of Azerbaijan GP.

Ojjeh, who has been a shareholder of McLaren since 1984, sadly died on Sunday (June 6) morning in his home on Geneva, amid his family. The reason for his unfortunate death, though, hasn’t been mentioned by the British manufacturer.

Recently, Ojjeh stepped aside from the directorial role of McLaren Group last year, when his son Sultan Mansour Akram Ojjeh, took his place on the board. It was a move to pass on the legacy to his son, with the senior figure slowly moving away from active work.

The statement from McLaren stated: “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.  A full statement will be made in due course. All at McLaren Racing mourn his loss together with his family, to whom the team sends its most heartfelt condolences.”

Following the short statement, McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown, penned down his own message for Ojjeh, it went: “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.”

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali stated: “I was shocked to hear that our very good friend Mansour has passed away. 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.”

And, FIA President Jean Todt added: “Deeply saddened by the passing of my friend Mansour Ojjeh, one of F1’s legends. He achieved huge success with Williams & McLaren. He was unique & a real gentleman. He will be truly missed and will always be remembered. Our thoughts & prayers are with his beloved family.”

Here’s news on Sultan taking over the directorial post