Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion in Formula 1. He has won everything there is to win in the sport, but he could have never done it on his own.
Having entered the sport as a fast and extremely talented rookie, many marked Hamilton as the next big thing in F1. While he would have definitely attained some heights, he wouldn’t have reached his current level without the help and support of many people.
Among them is Angela Cullen, a lifetime partner and Lewis Hamilton assistant. She has been an integral part of his professional and personal success, with the seven-time champion anointing her as a rock of his life.
Who is Angela Cullen?
Angela Cullen is a trainer, performance coach, assistant and physiotherapist. A multifaceted worker, the 47-year-old does these roles for Hamilton, making her job one of the biggest sporting roles in the world.
Having been under the employment of Hamilton for five years, she helps Hamilton as his physiotherapist and PA. She ensures that he is mentally charged for racing. The driver’s fitness regime, diet, and exercise are also taken care of by Cullen.
Cullen trained at AUT in Auckland, New Zealand, and graduated with a health science degree. She then went off on the standard OE to London. The Kiwi woman worked as a senior physiotherapist at the English Institute of Sport. There, she trained British Olympic cyclists, sprinters and triathletes.
Hamilton heard of her in 2016 and was impressed with her skills and abilities. He hired her without any delay, and the pair have only achieved great things together.
Cullen was a fan of sports and physical activity from a young age, saying, “I was born and grew up in New Zealand, famous for outdoor activities.
“I have always had a passion for all sports. I was hugely competitive and got involved in everything from netball, soccer, cricket, volleyball, basketball, to swimming athletics. If there was a sports team, I wanted to be part of it.
“But it was field hockey that I represented New Zealand in from the ages of 15 to 21. This was my first introduction to high-performance sports and human performance.
“Being hugely competitive I have always loved the challenge of getting the best out of myself which was soon to translate into getting the best out of others.
“During school, I loved maths, sciences and the practical nature of subjects such as physiology, anatomy and physics, so when I started university a degree in health science and physiotherapy was a natural choice.
“It combined my love of science and my passion for sport and interest in body performance,” she concluded.
The story of Lewis Hamilton and Angela Cullen
Hamilton and Cullen are one of F1’s best driver-trainer pairs. They are so tight they even share matching tattoos; the word ‘loyalty’ permanent on their wrists.
The British Knight is often seen on the grid with her. Every time he is not in his racing car, he can be spotted walking with Cullen and talking things. She is there with him at all times, guiding him and taking feedback.
Hamilton makes a lot of investments as someone who makes a lot of money. He has stressed time and again that while that is all well and good, one of his best investments has been Cullen. He heaped praise on her and said that she was “one of the greatest things that have happened in my life.”
“So Angela and I are naturally incredibly close, Hamilton said, as quoted by crash.net.
“We pretty much live together and we’re close as friends also. I am very, very lucky to have found Angela because she’s a very special human being.
“So basically when I got to Formula 1 I didn’t have a trainer up until I was in F1 and I was given a trainer. At the time, they’re all called physios. I don’t know how much….I mean a couple of the trainers I had were physios, but they were called the physio for the race weekend.
“It wasn’t until I get back and see Angela, so I was like, ‘why don’t you come on the road with me because I am not training on the race weekends.’
“I actually need a physio that needs my body and what it needs to be as best prepared possibly for a race weekend, and when I am away I can train with whoever.”
How Angela Cullen helped Lewis become known
Hamilton was already very famous before Cullen joined him. However, since her introduction, he has only gone from strength to strength. More world championships was one thing, but his evolution of becoming who he is today is partly down to the performance coach.
Hamilton highlighted how Cullen’s involvement in his life is something he can’t imagine living without.
“Ange is generally with me until 10-11pm every day, and with me from 6-7am every morning. It’s a very, very important role. A very important relationship,” he continued.
“I don’t think that this year has brought us any closer than any other year because we’re incredibly close as it is, but we love our job. We love doing what we do, we love doing it together.
“I am incredibly grateful to be able to have her on the road with me. I don’t think I could do it without her,” he concluded.
Cullen’s role in Hamilton’s life was best summed up by paddock photographer Kym Illman, who said, “She’s been in the field of sport for some 25 years, she’s his PA, his driver, his performance coach, his confidante, his friend.
“It is her role to eliminate all the distractions for Lewis over a race weekend, so for 4 days, she’s with him almost every minute of those 4 days.”
Read more: Angela Cullen pens down an uplifting tribute to Lewis Hamilton after his contract extension