McLaren CEO Zak Brown has pulled out of racing in a GT4 event this weekend, with the team commemorating the life of popular investor Mansour Ojjeh at the French Grand Prix.
Brown will attend the Formula 1 race at Paul Ricard instead at the weekend, and he had been pencilled to race in the GT4 European Series with United Autosports co-founder Richard Dean at Zandvoort.
Ojjeh passed away on the eve of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last time out, with the paddock saddened by the loss of the long-time McLaren associate at the age of 68.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 7, 2021
Tributes to Ojjeh were offered throughout the F1 paddock in Baku. He was the former owner of watch manufacturer TAG Heuer – which had a 30-year sponsorship association with McLaren before moving to sponsor Red Bull.
Team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed McLaren “will be racing in honour of Mansour this weekend. He was and always will be an integral part of the McLaren family and a true inspiration to all of us.”
United Autosports confirmed the news of Brown’s retraction from competition on Twitter: “Zak and Richard have decided to no longer race at Zandvoort this weekend following the death of Mansour Ojjeh.
“Zak will instead attend the French Grand Prix to commemorate Mansour. Our thoughts are with the McLaren family at this difficult time.”
Brown is reportedly considering entering another round of the GT4 European Series later in the season, according to GPFans, with the 49-year-old American being a keen racer himself in his spare time.
He’s competed in historic racing in recent years alongside his work with McLaren, and raced in single seaters and sports cars in the past in his junior driving career.