Wolff reveals reason for Hamilton split with Cullen
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 18th March, 2023 - 11:15pm
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has offered an insight into the reason Lewis Hamilton has split with long-time performance coach Angela Cullen.
New Zealander Cullen has been a key part of Hamilton’s ‘inner circle’ since 2016 after taking on the important role of physio following her appointment with renowned specialists Hintsa Performance.
Cullen was again with Hamilton for the season-opening race in Bahrain, so the decision to go their separate ways ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has come as a surprise.
Via separate Instagram posts, neither made clear the reasons behind their decision, with seven-time F1 champion Hamilton wishing Cullen “the very best as she takes her next steps to pursue her dreams”.
Cullen, who previously worked at the English Institute of Sport in London as a senior physiotherapist, supporting the British Olympics team and UK Athletics, said she was ‘off on her next adventure’.
Wolff has intimated that Hamilton was looking for a change as relationships, no matter how close the bond as appeared to be the case between the 38-year-old and Cullen, evolve and move on.
“Angela was a part of the gang for a long time,” said Wolff.
“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.”
Mercedes support Hamilton decision
Outlining the affection in which Cullen will always be held, Wolff added: “Angela will always be a mascot of the team. She’s the only one who has a louder voice than a starting car!”
But then recognising what Hamilton now needs, Wolff stated: “You know, if this is what he decides, we will always absolutely support him, whatever direction he wants to take.”
The decision to part company with Cullen comes at a difficult time for Hamilton and Mercedes as the team has again been found wanting with its latest car, the W14.
Hamilton and Wolff have also only recently started discussions over a potential new contract for the Briton.
Although expressing confidence Hamilton will stay, Wolff has recognised his driver may wish to move on if Mercedes is unable to provide him with a winning car capable of delivering a record-breaking eighth F1 title.
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