F1 champion speaks out about his physiotherapist again, this time to the French newspaper. For more than seven years they were a well-rehearsed team and could be seen together at almost every Grand Prix. All the more surprising, then, was the news before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March that the Mercedes star was ending his collaboration with the physiotherapist, who is almost eleven years his senior.
The seven time champion keeps in touch with former physio and close ‘confidant’ Angela Cullen regularly see’s Lewis Hamilton. The British Mercedes driver has also gone into a little more detail about his new fitness team for the remainder of the 2023 season after the departure of his long-time physiotherapist Angela Cullen.
After seven years together, Lewis Hamilton and Angela Cullen confirmed on the eve of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that they will no longer be working together in Formula 1, she who had been Lewis Hamilton’s physio since the 2016 season.
Split announced by Hamilton
The personable Angela Cullen was always by the Mercedes driver’s side and made life much easier for him during a Grand Prix weekend, so that he could stay focused on the essentials. For many, the duo were intrinsic to Hamiltons’ successes in F1, and many speculated much after such a sudden and abrupt parting of the pair this year.
Somewhat bizarrely, the split was announced by Hamilton on Social Media after the start of the Formula 1 season had already begun, specifically at the second round of the season in Saudi Arabia.
The end of the seven year partnership was explained by Lewis who posted:
“So today I hope you’ll join me in wishing her the very best as she takes her next steps to pursue her dreams. Thank you for everything Ang, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.”
Strange post from Cullen
“Training for love. Training for life. Respect the hustle. Don’t forget to listen to your heart.”
The timing of the split was unusual. Had this been planned carefully over the winter surely Cullen would not have travelled to pre-season testing and the first race weekend in Bahrain.
When asked how this turn of events might affect his star driver, Toto Wolff appeared surprised by the revelation.
“I don’t know what has been announced”, the Mercedes’ boss told Sky although he appeared to admit the decision was instigated by Hamilton.
“But, you know, if this is what he decides, we will always absolutely support him, whatever direction he wants to take,” Toto concluded.
It appeared all had gone quiet in the Hamilton/Cullen mystery until yesterday when the New Zealander again posted on her Instagram story.
“The present moment. Find your stillness. That’s where you create magic. Let’s go.”
Public show of psychological support
Angela then uploaded an image of Lewis preparing on the grid along with a caption.
“There is so much noise in the environments we have created around us and chose to live in, constant bombardment of information, from socials, phones, TVs, people around us, even our own minds with habits of overthinking and analysing are contributing to this constant chatter.
“The challenge is to be in the present moment, where nothing else exists, focus and find the quiet! This is where you will find your answers. This is where the magic happens. This is where dreams come true. Let’s go team LH.”
Given Lewis Hamilton revealed that even after their split he and Angela text “almost every day” this very public show of psychological support is a little off the wall.
More than just “professionals?”
There are those who believe the Hamilton/Cullen relationship was more than just a professional arrangement and that her social media posts at times border on the bizarre.
Hamilton had previously discussed the impact Cullen had on his life prior to the separation.
“People for sure won’t understand it, naturally, because they see it from a distance, but she has been one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in my life,” he declared.
“She’s focused, selfless, and she makes my weekends peaceful. Every day I wake up, whatever time it is, she’s just positive – never a single day has she been negative, so that’s very, very important.”
Clearly the impact of ‘losing’ Angela Cullen on Lewis musty be huge but until the truth comes out, speculation about the real nature of their relationship will continue along with guesswork around the reasoning for their split.
Hamilton reveals new set up
Asked if Hamilton has had to adjust his race routine since Cullen’s departure, the Mercedes driver replied, “No, because I think you always have to adjust your routine. But the team has helped me get back on track.”
“I now have a slightly different set-up with [Cullen’s] role split between two people,” said the seven-time world champion.
“The rest of my team is the same, and Angela and I still talk to each other, we keep in touch quite regularly,” he insisted, again emphasising the odd nature of the couple beyond the professional sense.
“As I said before, we’ll always be in each other’s lives, and we’re always looking forward to more fun times together, whether we’re skydiving or probably climbing Mount Everest at some point together, who knows?
“We just have to keep supporting each other. After that, the setup I have right now is great…”
Hamilton proves he still has a working ‘bubble’ of support
Hamilton then goes on to explain his setup beyond the immediate ‘on hand’ support of Cullen, saying he has “one of the guys who is with me, Stevo, has been with me since my first race at McLaren.”
“He followed me here [to Mercedes] when I moved from McLaren to here as a gearbox engineer. After that he was in several different roles, and now he’s helping me.”
“It’s great, because we’ve never had a huge amount of time [to spend together]…we’re so busy at the weekends. You chat a bit in the garage, but now we spend a lot more time together.”
“Otherwise, I also work with someone for my training, it’s Kilye, and I also have Santi. Honestly, I have a great support structure,” Hamilton concluded.
Since the start of the 2023 season, Lewis Hamilton’s best result has been second place at the Australian Grand Prix. Before the Monaco Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver was in fourth place in the world championship.
Update: Cullen back?
As mentioned, nothing concrete was known about the reasons for the separation, but its possible the new setup is not working. Now the seven-time Formula 1 world champion admitted that he misses Cullen “every day”, and “wants her back”.
Hamilton made it clear ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix that he missed the New Zealander at the race track.
“I miss her every day,” the seven-time Formula One world champion admitted to the French sports newspaper L’Equipe, alluding to a potential return.
“She was a breath of fresh air for me every day. In the seven years we worked together, she was always a great help.”
Hamilton remains silent on reasons for split in this latest update. Cullen “was and still is a very good friend,” Hamilton further revealed.
There is still contact, Hamilton went on to say, “We will never part. I am very grateful for everything she has given me.”