McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh has died aged 68, the British team has announced.
Ojjeh, who worked with Ron Dennis after buying into McLaren in 1984, was a key figure in the constructor’s ensuing success in Formula One.
In a statement ahead of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, McLaren said: “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.
“All at McLaren Racing mourn his loss together with his family, to whom the team sends its most heartfelt condolences.”
Ojjeh’s time at McLaren brought 10 drivers’ championships, including Lewis Hamilton’s first title in 2008, and nine constructors’ triumphs.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton posted a tribute to Ojjeh ahead of Sunday’s grand prix in Baku.
Hamilton, 36, wrote: “I carry a heavy heart into the race after the loss of a close friend, Mansour Ojjeh.
“He was a big brother to me. He had the biggest heart and always carried the biggest smile.
“He fought for so many years with such courage and the heart of a lion.
“I am so grateful to have known such a man. I will miss his jokes, he was the best at telling them, and his big hugs. This man loved unconditionally. Rest in peace brother, love you always.”
A one-minute silence will be observed ahead of Sunday’s race in memory of Ojjeh and Max Mosley, the former FIA president who died last month.