DRIVERS: GEORGES-FRANCIS (JOHNNY) SERVOZ-GAVIN
Name: Georges-Francis (Johnny) Servoz-Gavin
Date of birth: January 18, 1942 - Grenoble
Georges-Francis Servoz-Gavin was given the nickname "Johnny," so the story goes, by the mass of adoring young girls who crowded around him on the ski slopes of the French Alps. Handsome, athletic and charming, Servoz-Gavin was an icon of the mid 1960s in France.
An erratic early Formula 3 career with a private Brabham brought him to the attention of the French Matra team, even though his attention to the social high life almost scuppered his career at one point. His first F1 World Championship race was at Monaco in 1967. After Jackie Stewart damaged his wrist in a Formula 2 practice accident, Servoz-Gavin was given his big chance to drive the Tyrrell Matra-Ford in the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix where he qualified second and led for the first three laps before hitting the chicane barrier and breaking a driveshaft.
He finished second in the 1968 Italian Grand Prix at Monza and stayed with Matra to win the 1969 European Formula 2 Championship, dovetailing this with occasional outings in the four-wheel-drive Formula 1 Matra MS84 which he used to finish sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix. In 1970 he was paired with Jackie Stewart in the Tyrrell team driving a March-Cosworth. He retired after failing to qualify at Monao. The previous winter, an outing in an off-road vehicle had seen him struck in the face by a small branch and Servoz-Gavin was concerned that his eyesight had been slightly damaged.