Angela Cullen: The physio that spent seven years in Lewis Hamilton’s inner circle

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton walks with former performance coach Angela Cullen at the 2023 Bahrain Grand prix.

Lewis Hamilton walks with former performance coach Angela Cullen.

Angela Cullen became a very recognisable face in the Formula 1 paddock from her time working alongside seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Cullen first began working with Hamilton back in 2016, the New Zealander having often been alongside Hamilton around the paddock, sometimes trying desperately to keep up when Hamilton was armed with his scooter for some swifter transport.

As well as serving as Hamilton’s physiotherapist, she also appeared to be something of a confidante for the Mercedes driver, a key part of the Brit’s inner circle.

Let’s then take a more detailed look at who Angela Cullen is, beyond the times we simply saw her in the Formula 1 paddock.

Angela Cullen: Life before F1

Cullen actually has an extensive and highly successful sporting career which stretches far further back than her association with Hamilton.

She would in fact represent New Zealand on the international field hockey stage in her teenage years through to her early 20s, and having obtained a degree in health science and physiotherapy, she went on to become senior physiotherapist at the English Institute of Sport in London, which included supporting the British Olympic team.

The 4 × 100m relay team which Cullen worked with would win gold at the 2004 Summer Olympic games in Athens. Cullen also had stints with the New Zealand Academy of Sport and Sport New Zealand.

Cullen is a graduate of the Auckland University of Technology, as was the founder of the McLaren team Bruce McLaren, meaning her F1 ties date back much further than when she arrived on the scene with Hamilton.

Angela Cullen: Relationship with Lewis Hamilton

When Formula 1 and Hamilton was rocked by the death of his mentor, McLaren’s Dr Aki Hintsa in 2016, it was that same year that Hamilton and Cullen first began working together, Hamilton asking her to come on the road with him after helping him with muscle pain which his past trainer struggled to cure.

“Angela had done a bit of work on me back home, so I spoke to her and asked her, ‘Would you like to come on the road with me?’ And little did I know that we would have the greatest partnership,” Hamilton said previously.

Cullen was a key member of Hamilton’s inner circle when he went on a dominant run of four Drivers’ titles in a row from 2017-2020, those successes seeing him equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally of seven World Championship titles.

Angela Cullen: Family and personal life

Cullen is married to cyclist and current director at Smart Coaching Silas Cullen.

Very little is known about her husband beyond that, though they do have children and are said to live as a family in the Alps region of France.

Hamilton would admit ahead of the 2023 Australian GP that a role like Cullen’s is very challenging on the time you get to spend outside of F1 life with family.

“It’s an incredibly challenging role I think for anyone in those positions,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“It is a lot of travelling and a lot of time away from your family and you grow incredibly close together.

“If you’re at dinner, during your weekends and while you’re travelling, it’s usually you, your trainer or physio, your family or whatever it may be, it’s incredibly intimate in that sense. And you become great friends.”

 

Angela Cullen: What’s next after Lewis Hamilton split?

Cullen and Hamilton remain on very good terms despite their careers now going in different paths, Hamilton having said that she was exiting his team in order to “pursue her dreams”. It looks like she will be using all this free time then to check a few things off the bucket list.

And we do know that paragliding has been something she has been putting time into, posting on Instagram back in March to reveal that she had flown solo for the first time.

That high-adrenaline life is something which Hamilton and Cullen both seemingly enjoy, with Hamilton also revealing that the pair are “still going to go skydiving together” in Hamilton’s time outside of the Formula 1 bubble.