First Woman to be part of a Formula 1 pit stop team – Louise Goodman

Louise Goodman; from the series First Women UK by Anita Corbin

Louise Goodman is known as one the first female faces of Formula 1, having been involved in motorsport media since the late 1980s and becoming a familiar sight along the Formula 1 pit lane. Her first appearance was in the 1988 Mexican Grand Prix through PR duties with Camel, then a Formula 1 Sponsor. Following this, she was the Press Officer for Leyton House Formula 1 Team, before heading the Communications department at the Jordan Grand Prix Racing Team between 1992 and 1996. She rose to fame as a pit lane reporter for ITV when they had the rights to show Formula 1 races in the UK between 1997 and 2008. She was also active behind the wheel, competing in several rally races. Now, she has her own media company, Goodman Media, and continues to present at ITV for the British Touring Car Championship.

Image Courtesy of

Louise Goodman became the first woman to take part in a Formula 1 Pit Stop in the 2006 British Grand Prix when she was in charge of taking the rear left wheel off Tiago Monteiro’s car, whilst he was driving for Midland. This was for an ITV feature which took a closer look at the car and the mechanics, and so Louise decided to be involved in a pit stop directly. Originally, she trained with Honda for several months and was supposed to take off Jenson Button’s rear left wheel, but a week before the race, she received a call saying Honda had changed their mind about including her in the pit stop. Luckily, she contacted Midland (who were previously Jordan Grand Prix) and they accepted. Incidentally, Button never made it to his first pit stop as he suffered an oil leak. Formula 1 cars can be very different across manufacturers, so she had to retrain on the Midland M16 car in just one week. Goodman was undeniably nervous – things could easily go wrong, and she did not want to let the team down. Working on the technical side of motorsport is fast-paced and the importance of functioning as one body in the team is imperative. Monteiro’s pit stop was brief and successful.

Louise Goodman (far right) taking off Monteiro’s wheel and satisfied with a successful pitstop. Courtesy of F1TV.

Throughout her career, Goodman has managed media coverage for multiple car manufacturers, sponsors, and drivers, including Mika Hakkinen, Martin Brundle, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello, and more. Back when she started in the 80s, media coverage for Formula 1 was considerably a lesser affair, with perhaps one or two people responsible for PR and media. Since then, media coverage has grown considerably and so have the racing teams. However, the number of women is still relatively low. Whilst she was a pit lane reporter with ITV’s Formula 1 coverage, she worked alongside James Allen, Ted Kravitz, and Martin Brundle – names which are still connected to Formula 1, yet she was the only woman in the core media team. Traditionally, women in motorsport were involved more in marketing and press operations, although recently, there have been more women involved in the technical side. But is the number of women in motorsport high enough?

Louise Goodman interviewing Fernando Alonso, then at Ferrari. Courtesy of

Picturing today’s Formula 1 grid, it is obvious that this is still a male-dominated sport. The first woman to compete in a Formula 1 Race was Maria Teresa De Filippis in 1958, whilst the last one, at the time of writing, was Giovanna Amati in 1992. Lella Lombardi remains the only woman to score points in Formula 1 in 1975. Other women have participated as test and development drivers. Most notably, Scottish driver Susie Wolff tested in 2012 with Williams, the first female appearance in a Formula 1 race weekend in 22 years, and Jamie Chadwick in 2019, again with Williams. Chadwick later won the W Series championship three years in a row. The W Series is the all-female single-seater racing championship counterpart to Formula 1. Yet, this year’s championship was cut two-races short due to financial difficulties, indicating that unfortunately, this championship does not have enough interest to generate the amount of budgeting and sponsorship that Formula 1 attracts. The W Series has also received backlash from opponents who argue that rather than encouraging the admission of female racers in established series, this championship is segregating women.

Ultimately, for more women to be involved in motorsport, there needs to be a bigger push from an earlier age. Most women involved in motorsport have family connections. The majority of drivers, men included, start their careers thanks to parents who take them karting at a young age. Yet not many parents would think of taking their daughter go-karting. On the technical side, the mechanics are chosen from some of the best available, and unfortunately, the pool is still very male-dominated. HESA reports that in the 2020/21 academic year, 20% of engineering students in Higher Education were female [1]. In addition, WES reports that women make up 16.5% of the people employed in engineering roles in the UK [2]. Although increasing, there is still more to be done to encourage equal opportunities in engineering and STEM across the genders.

Women like Louise Goodman are essential to encouraging more girls to develop an interest in motorsport. Together with Susie Wolff’s Dare to Be Different organisation, Goodman has been involved in the FIA Girls on Track initiative which aims to promote all the different roles that are available in motorsport. It helps young women experience motorsport and increase their confidence. Hannah Schmitz, Red Bull Racing’s current Principal Strategy Engineer is an example of how women can get to the top spots of motorsport with dedication and confidence. Working in motorsport, and especially succeeding at its pinnacle in Formula 1, requires hard work and commitment; it becomes a way of life with races during weekends, all over the world. Nevertheless, it can be an extremely rewarding career and it is inspiring to see these successful women, despite their low numbers.

First Women is now open at the Wardlaw Museum and the Laidlaw Music Centre.

First Women UK by Anita Corbin. 100 Portraits of 100 First Women to celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote, created by photographer Anita Corbin over a decade and launched in 2018.

Written by Sharon Pisani, Visitor Services Facilitator and PhD student in the School of Computer Science of the University of St Andrews

[1] What do HE students study? (2022) HESA. Available at:
[2] Useful statistics (2022) Women’s Engineering Society. Available at:

Storytelling at the Wardlaw Museum

Shared stories, whether spoken, written, sung or filmed are what give a sense of place, history and belonging. Having originated as a holy site for pilgrims to visit the relics of St Andrew, allegedly buried at the cathedral in medieval times, the town of St Andrews has sustained and developed its ongoing global significance through education, discovery, sport and religion. This historic town has thousands of stories to tell, many of which can be uncovered right here in the Wardlaw Museum.

The Lilac Fairy Book (1910) Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: Lan PR4876.L5F10

St Andrews’ Wardlaw Museum acts as a vessel for storytelling. Visitors can expect to learn about the foundation, traditions and innovations of Scotland’s oldest university and its students as they traverse through the galleries. Among the displays are documents of Willa Muir, a St Andrews graduate who translated over 40 books, including the works of Franz Kafka. An accomplished linguist and novelist, Willa Muir’s works were an important part of the Scottish Renaissance literary movement which pursued an exploration of identity and engaging with social and political issues. However, literature is not the only way in which stories can be told.

Our display of 70 archery medals highlights the competitive side of St Andrews students in an artform that was popular from the 1618 to 1754 but has now fallen out of favour. Each medal is unique and when displayed collectively shows an important part of the University’s history exemplifying how traditions have developed and waned over the course of 600 years.  

Whilst the museum itself focuses on storytelling, the Wardlaw also celebrates two renowned writers who acted as rector: Scottish author of Peter Pan, JM Barrie, and Monty Python member and Fawlty Towers creator John Cleese. Here lies proof that storytelling and imagination are so powerful they can lead to great honour, fame, and responsibility!  

Installation of J M Barrie (May 1922) Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: ms37069/55
Bronze Statue of Peter Pan (1913) Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: HC801

Undoubtedly, there are innumerable ways to communicate stories, particularly considering the long and varied past St Andrews has as a center of religious reform, education and innovation. As the old saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and one of the most striking pieces on permanent display is the painting of the murder of Archbishop Sharp. Opie’s striking painting depicts a dramatic retelling of a gruesome murder just outside of St Andrews in 1679, as part of the long running rivalry between Presbyterian and Catholic religious groups. The dramatic and elegant framing of an otherwise violent scene shows how stories can become distorted by different viewpoints and even recontextualised by societal change.  

‘The Death of Archbishop Sharpe’ by John Opie, (1797) Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: HC2008.9

Sometimes simply examining an object may unlock scientific insight and discoveries which help interpret our understanding of the world we live in. Galleries two and three showcase some of St Andrews University’s feats in scientific innovation and discovery.

Conversely, storytelling sometimes comes through cautionary tales, such as those surrounding colonial collecting (from which the Wardlaw is not exempt). As museums became popular in the 1700s, many European explorers raced to fill them with interesting objects and unfamiliar specimens. Unfortunately, this practice was not sustainable or particularly ethical, damaging ecosystems and causing uproar throughout affected communities. Fortunately, steps are being taken to research and recontextualise certain objects, particularly through Wardlaw’s Recollecting Empire exhibition, which addresses key themes and objects which represent the presence of colonialism and empire within the museum.  


Hahoe Mask. Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: HC2001.16

Interpretation is an important part of museum curation, telling the stories of individual objects to understand Scotland’s collective history and understand how these tales have helped shaped the nation today. Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Stories’ presents the opportunity for every part of Scotland to tell its story and capture imagination.  

Wardlaw museum offers two different Smartify tours which can be enjoyed within the museum or at home. One, essential St Andrews and the other Collections highlights tell the stories of key objects from the museum’s vast collection. Don’t forget to get involved and share your own stories through #TalesOfScotland on social media! 

Smartify | Collections Highlights

Smartify | Essential St Andrews

The Bell Pettigrew Museum is open

Which is the oldest museum you’ve ever been to? Have you ever been inside a teaching museum? The University of St Andrews has an active teaching museum: its natural history museum. The Bell Pettigrew Museum was opened in 1912 and still houses a vast collection of specimens and instruments. The museum has been a teaching museum since Edwardian times, and students and staff can still visit to observe the artefacts. The museum is also open for public visits over the summer, Autumn and Spring holidays. 

A skeleton of a camel besides a display of scientific instruments © Sharon Pisani

James Bell Pettigrew was a Professor of Anatomy at the University of St Andrews and was a pioneer of early flying machines. His seminal work, Animal Locomotion: or Walking, Swimming and Flying, influenced future naturalists and informed his invention of an early flying machine. He died in 1908, and it was actually his wife, Elsie Gray, who founded the Bell Pettigrew Museum after his death. James Bell Pettigrew served as curator of the University’s natural history collection which was moved into this museum after it was completed.

Mosaic floors welcome visitors to the museum © Sharon Pisani

Located in the quaint St Mary’s Quad, the whole building is rather special. Upon entering, I stepped onto the mosaic floors which welcomed me and gave me a sense of being in another world, unlike any other building in St Andrews. Through the interior wooden doors, mounted heads of deer, elk, and other herbivores make up the first striking grand display. I immediately felt like I had gone back in time to the early twentieth century as I walked amongst the museum’s traditional displays and cases.

The collection is vast; there are fossils, skeletons, and embalmed animals, but also scientific instruments, drawings, and photographs. The sheer level of organisation of such a collection is striking. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets are full of specimens, neatly labelled, and sorted according to their place in the animal kingdom. Many of the specimens are of Victorian origin, some in their original jars with handwritten labels, adding to the historical charm of the place.

Displays in the museum showing skeletons and stuffed deer, herbivores, and fish © Sharon Pisani

One can easily spend hours observing the collection, but for those a little bit tighter on time, the Smartify app includes two fifteen-minute audio tours, one highlighting extinct animals, and the other about animals of Scotland. I listened to the latter one, and as I stood in front of the animals and learnt about them, I couldn’t help but remember other times when I had seen these animals during my time in Scotland.

I remembered the windy day in June when I had taken the ferry to the Isle of May and gazed in wonder at the hundreds of Atlantic Puffins standing on the cliffs. I spotted many diving off the rocks and feeding on a variety of herring and fish, sometimes indulging in five or six at one go.

I remembered the cold, rainy day, when driven by a desire to get into the Christmas spirit, I took the bus to the Scottish Deer Centre where a Christmas market was being organised. Nothing could make me feel like I’d stepped into a Christmas card more than watching deer, elks, and reindeers, animals which are not native in my home country. Amongst the other animals, I spotted the Scottish Wildcat, unafraid of the rain as it perched above its shelter in its enclosure. Definitely not the scary wildcat the Victorians had taxidermized and preserved in front of my eyes.

Hearing about the grey seal, my memories harkened back to the time I visited the island of North Uist, and whilst on Berneray, drove to the Seal Viewing Point, where I saw around twenty grey and common seals, lounging on the coast, observing the day going by and waiting for the tide to come up and refresh them.

Seals on the isle of Berneray, North Uist © Sharon Pisani

I heard about the European Badger and recalled a memory of riding my bicycle home after a night out with friends. Passing by the Lade Braes, I heard a loud scurrying sound, before a shadow crossed the road, hit my bike’s front wheel with considerable force, and crossed on into the darkness of the woods. The shock from this strange encounter lasted longer than the encounter itself, but despite not seeing the animal properly, I can still recollect seeing the distinctive black and white stripes flash before my eyes. I had seen my first ever badger in the wild.

Listening about more animals and seeing them on the display, I was excited to think about what other adventures I will go on to have in Scotland and what stories I will remember in some distant day in the future. Museums can truly bring their collections alive, not just through the exhibition, but through the memories that are awakened in the visitor’s mind. And what better stories to remember, than those involving our time with people, our interactions with animals, and our place living in nature. See what memories come alive at Bell Pettigrew Museum and share your own stories through #TalesOfScotland on social media!

The Bell Pettigrew Museum is open over the Autumn holidays from 10th – 21st October, Monday to Friday from 13:00-17:00. The audio tours can be accessed through the following links or by downloading the Smartify app.

Smartify | Bell Pettigrew Animals of Scotland Tour

Written by Sharon Pisani, Visitor Services Facilitator and PHD student in the School of Computer Science of the University of St Andrews

Diversifying the State Rooms of St Andrews University – but how?

Visitors entering the State Rooms of the University of St Andrews are currently confronted exclusively with oil portraits of the University’s past principals and chancellors. To diversify the exhibition, the University Museums and the School of Art History initiated a collaboration: students of the module “The Portrait in Western Art”, under the supervision of Dr Elsje van Kessel, proposed works to update the exhibition. This text is the shortened version of my proposal. I suggest adding seven photographs to the exhibition – six portraits of pioneers of early photography and one self-portrait of the photographer Franki Raffles (1955–1994). These objects are among the highlights of the roughly 30,000 prestigious photographs in the University museum’s art collection.

The first set of photographs shows prominent members of an intellectual circle of photographers and scientists in St Andrews, which developed under the leadership of Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), back then principal of the United Colleges of St Andrews University. Brewster knew William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), the inventor of a photographic process called calotype, and encouraged his circle to master this highly complex process and to refine Talbot’s invention through collaboratively conducted experiments. Since Brewster persuaded Talbot that patenting his invention in Scotland would be unprofitable, the St Andrews community could experiment with Talbot’s invention for free. The calotype was also a matter of scientific publications. Many pioneers were members of scientific associations like the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the St Andrews Literary and Philosophical society. Most of these personalities held prestigious positions at the University. For instance, James David Forbes (1809–1868) succeeded Brewster as the principal of the United Colleges, Dr John Adamson was a doctor and chemistry professor (1809–1870), and Hugh Lyon Playfair (1787–1861) the University provost.

Images Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums

In contrast to these amateur photographers, other personalities were University alumni who decided to work as professional photographers – among the first world-wide! One of them, Robert Adamson (1821–1848), produced artistically important photographs in his Edinburgh studio in collaboration with the painter David Octavius Hill (1802–1870). A second photographer, Thomas Rodger (1832–1883), opened a purpose-built professional studio in St Andrews in 1849, nowadays housing the University’s Careers Centre. The selected photographs commemorate these pioneering figures and provide examples of early portraits produced with the calotype process.

Robert Adamson by David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson
Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums ID: ALB-24-2-2

I propose to juxtapose this set of photographs with a self-portrait by the feminist photographer Franki Raffles. Raffles, born in England, studied philosophy at the University ofSt Andrews starting in 1973. During her studies, she took a leading role in the local group of the Women’s Liberation Movement. As a member of this group, she fought against gender inequalities within the University and proposed radical changes to the movement’s organisation and aims. After her degree, Raffles taught herself the art of photography and worked in Edinburgh as a freelance photographer. In the 1980s and early 1990s, she travelled through Scotland and Asia to document the harsh realities of women’s everyday lives and thus raise public awareness of the everyday problems of women. In 1992, she led the “Zero Tolerance campaign”, a successful initiative against domestic violence. For this project, she designed posters including photographs of women in apparently normal domestic environments but bearing inscriptions indicating that these women were victims of abuse. Why is Raffles’ link to St Andrews important for understanding her art? Although Raffles was not yet acquainted with photography during her studies, in St Andrews she developed many of the feminist ideals which later pervaded her photography. On 17 October, photographer and St Andrews alumna Franki Raffles would have turned 67 years old.

Trip to Eastern Europe and Asia by Franki Raffles.
Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: 2014-4-1699-6a

Raffles’ self-portrait would add another aspect to the display. It stands for female empowerment, as it depicts Raffles in the act of taking her own picture. As a result, she retains control over her identity and is not objectified. Furthermore, juxtaposing the portrait of one woman with those of six men would visualise the historical gender imbalance at St Andrews University. In fact, for centuries women were not accepted at the University as students, let alone as professors or principals. Likewise, the portraits of personalities from Brewster’s circle include only men. Although women actively participated in the early development of photography, they were forced into less prominent roles than men due to social conventions. For instance, they were active in scientific associations but could not become official members, and they often worked as assistants of male photographers without being acknowledged.

The proposed selection of photographs would also diversify the artistic mediums represented in the current exhibition. This would allow visitors to compare the oil paintings in the State rooms with the newly added photographs. For instance, Brewster would be shown in both media. Formally, the representations are similar, with Brewster sitting on a majestic chair, along with books symbolising his erudition, and holding glasses in his hand, a possible allusion to his scientific contributions in the field of optics. But there are differences too: Brewster’s individual characteristics stand out more clearly in the photograph than in the oil painting. At the time, calotypes were usually taken outside, where the sun provided enough natural light. As a result, photographs often featured a spotlight on the depicted figure, which here highlights the details of the sitter’s face and hands. Moreover, the portraits differ in scale. While the oil painting is large and majestic, the photograph is small and more intimate. The new medium would then also allow showing new facets of Brewster’s personality. In the current context of the State Rooms, Brewster’s oil portrait honours him in his role as a principal. In the context of other pioneers of early photography, Brewster’s portrait would commemorate his additional role as a scientific leader and promoter of photography.

The State Rooms are meant to represent the University. The proposed display would provide a more comprehensive picture of its history, indicating its pioneering role in the early history of photography. And why not enjoy the contrast between majestic oil paintings and intimate photographs?

Written by Francesco Alessandrini Lupia, 4th-year student in the School of Art History of the University of St Andrews