Hamilton’s split from Cullen was ‘what he decided’ – Wolff

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has given further insight into Lewis Hamilton’s split from his long-time trainer and physiotherapist Angela Cullen.

Hamilton and Cullen confirmed yesterday they had concluded a working relationship which began in 2016. Cullen was appointed by Hintsa Performance who work with several Formula 1 drivers.

She had been a fixture alongside Hamilton since then, up until the season-opening race in Bahrain two weeks ago. Wolff said the news of the split was unexpected and he believes it was instigated by Hamilton.

“Angela was part of the gang for a long time,” he said. “I think in every team, whether that is his close circle, or also in the wider group, this is not a static situation that you can freeze. We all develop as people, we develop as an organisation and if things don’t work out anymore, then we need to be honest about it and then bring change.

“Angela will always be a mascot of the team. She’s the only one who has a louder voice than a starting car. But, you know, if this is what he decides, we will always absolutely support him, whatever direction he wants to take.”

Cullen said she was “excited to share I’m off on my next adventure” in a social media post yesterday.

“Exactly seven [years] ago on this day I was standing in the F1 paddock for the first time at the Australian GP,” she said. “I am so grateful and blessed to have had this incredible journey in F1 and I know my story will continue.”

She said working for Hamilton had been “an honour and pleasure.”

“I’m so proud of you and everything you have achieved,” said Cullen. Thank you for supporting me, believing in me and showing me the limitless potential we all have within us. I am so excited to watch the next chapter for you. There’s nothing you can’t do.”

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2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    15 comments on “Hamilton’s split from Cullen was ‘what he decided’ – Wolff”

    1. Seems very strange for Lewis to decide to end her employment after one race.

      1. maybe she had an emergency, maybe they had already discussed it end of last year, who knows, the only thing we know for sure is that only lewis and angela know the timing and reason.

    2. The headline makes it sound like Wolff knows the split was Hamilton’s decision
      The actual quotes purport absolute speculation on Wolff’s part. He doesn’t actually know, he just supports what he assumes to be Hamilton’s unilateral decision

      What is happening at Mercedes?!

      1. T,
        So Wolff apparently is speculating about a Mercedes matter. He’s just being politically correct as usual. I told you Hamilton has lost his patience, and I wasn’t trolling :)

        1. Actually no, it isn’t a “Mercedes matter”
          Angela isn’t employed by Mercedes, she’s exclusively on Hamilton’s pay roll.
          He isn’t being politically correct, he’s speaking matter of factly with conditional wording because that’s how you speak when you don’t know the details. Everyone is ignoring the operative word “if

          You told me Hamilton has lost his patience, you didn’t tell me how this somehow means he fired Angela especially when Angela has nothing to with the car. By your thinking Charles is actually responsible for Mattia’s shock exit

      2. Good observation. Even if Wolff does know it was Hamilton’s decision primarily or wholly, basic diplomacy as a team manager would be to say ‘their joint decision’. But I suspect it was indeed mutual.

    3. Just another case of how simple changes become huge talking points when a team and driver don’t find the success they seek.

    4. We win as a team but when we lose we blame the problem not the people. Mercedes don’t have blame culture like a certain Italian team with Italian mentality :)

      1. YEA!!
        Here at Ferrari we let the heads roll because it’s quite constructive you see.
        Why “blame the problem” that’s causing issues when you can fire Mattia, it takes too much effort to go searching for the problem when Mattia is right there!!
        Forza Ferrari

    5. Electroball76
      18th March 2023, 12:00

      F1 could make a show about the fitness trainers and nutritionists of the paddock. Breathe to Achieve, or It’s Tofu to Reach the Top

    6. Perhaps it is as simple as “the seven year itch”. Or maybe he caught her having a large blue steak dinner with Verstappen.

      1. Ahah, certain crimes are unforgivable!

        1. Sarah Griffiths
          18th March 2023, 22:42

          Is that the steak or verstappen ??

    7. When he was a champ it was nice to see his own minion following him everywhere he went. Now he is driving a midfield car and act as a midfield driver it’s a bit over the top to have such a assistant.

    8. Getting a lot of “last season in Formula 1” vibes from Hamilton at the moment.

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