Casino Square

Monaco Grand Prix, Servoz-Gavin, March 701

Casino Square stands at the highest point of the Monte Carlo Grand Pris circuit. Entry is by a long left hand bend Massenet at the top of the climb after Ste. Dévote  followed by a right, as shown above, around the center of the square before the road dives down toward Mirabeau. The wealthy and fortunate patrons of the Hotel de Paris, here in the background, get to watch the race from the hotel’s terrace.

This fabulous image was taken during practice for the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix and shows Georges-Françis “Johnny” Servoz-Gavin with Ken Tyrrell’s spare March 701 trying to qualify after an earlier practice accident had eliminated his March 701. Servos-Gavin was undoubtedly a very quick driver with real talent, having won the French F3 championship in 1966 with a Matra and then the European F2 championship, again with a Matra, three years later. He had already tasted F1 in 1968, having made the front row at the Monaco Grand Prix, his first F1 race, and then leading the field for three laps before a driveshaft failure, probably caused by hitting a curb, resulted in a crash. Later that year he had again displayed his F1 potential when he finished second in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, both times with one of Tyrrell’s Matra-Ford MS10s.

After suffering a serious eye injury in an off-road rally late in 1969, 1970 was less kind to the Frenchman from Grenoble. Servos-Gavin failed to make the Monaco grid and announced his retirement from racing at the age of 28. No doubt affected by the recent deaths of Lorenzo Bandini and Jimmy Clark, he simply told his friends that he had become scared.

Photo by Giuliano Orzali ©The Klemantaski Collection –



One comment

  1. Carol Thompson · · Reply

    Surprising to me was his debut at Monaco , 1968 being 2nd to Graham Hill.
    signed on as Number 2 to Jackie Stewart, for 1970, but failed to qualify,
    Then set off for life of leisure and
    sailing, but suffered terrible burns on the Boat. He confided to Nigel Roebuck
    that he never ” felt professional”
    Sadly he died at age 64 in July of 2006

    Jim Sitz


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