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The French-Saudi businessman died on Sunday in Geneva at the age of 68.
Born in 1952 in Geneva, Mansour Ojjeh was the son of Akram Ojjeh, a Saudi businessman who made his fortune in the 1970s as an intermediary in the signing of large arms contracts through the company TAG (Techniques d’Avant-Garde), initially based in Luxembourg.
Mansour Ojjeh, French through his mother, became head of the TAG holding company in the late 1970s, which began investing in Formula 1 with Williams at a time when the British team was sponsored by numerous Saudi sponsors such as Fly Saudia and Albilad.
A major figure in F1, the French-Saudi businessman was one of the historic shareholders of the British constructor McLaren, in which he took a stake in 1984 via the Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) group.
Until 1987, the TAG Porsche turbo engines used by McLaren in Grand Prix races, including those that won world championships in 1984, 1985 and 1986 with Niki Lauda and then Alain Prost, were branded TAG.
A close ally of former McLaren boss Ron Dennis, Ojjeh was instrumental in making the Woking team one of the most powerful teams on the grid. In 2013, he underwent a double lung transplant before making a discreet return to the paddock where he remained a major player, as well as in the McLaren organisation.
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