Mansour Ojjeh, major shareholder in the McLaren Group, is recovering from double lung transplant surgery, the team has confirmed.
The 61-year-old French-Saudi entrepreneur had been suffering from the fatal lung disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), but his life was saved courtesy of the radical surgery.
A statement from the team confirmed that he is recovering from the surgery and hopes to be back in the F1 paddock next year.
“My family and I have been through a very challenging period in our lives,” Ojjeh is quoted as saying in a McLaren media release.
“However, I’m very grateful for the superb medical assistance that I’ve received, and I’m both elated and relieved that I’m now on the road to a full recovery.
“We’ve missed our great friends in the paddock as well as the up-close-and-personal excitement of Formula 1, but we’ve faithfully watched every Grand Prix on television and we’re now looking forward to enjoying more great times together at the circuits again next season.”
Ojjeh’s connection with Formula 1 harks back to the late 1970s when his Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) group joined the sport as a major sponsor of the Williams team, before he switched his allegiance to McLaren in 1982 when team principal Ron Dennis (pictured above, with Ojjeh) convinced him to bankroll the team’s purpose-built Porsche turbo engines.
Those engines won a hat-trick of Drivers’ Championship titles between 1984-6, and Ojjeh opted to buy into the team. His TAG group retains a 21% shareholding in the McLaren Group, parent company of the Formula 1 team.
On behalf of the entire RichardsF1.com team, we wish Mansour a speedy recovery!