Toto Wolff quizzed about the sudden departure of Lewis Hamilton’s performance coach

Michelle Foster
Angela Cullen assists Lewis Hamilton on the grid. Silverstone July 2022

Angela Cullen assists Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on the grid. Silverstone July 2022

After Lewis Hamilton announced his split from Angela Cullen, Toto Wolff said “if things don’t work out anymore” then “change” is what’s required.

Hamilton and Cullen announced on Friday that the Briton’s long-time performance coach, who first teamed up with him back in 2016, had parted ways.

Neither gave a reason for it, simply wishing one another all the best for the future.

Hamilton in his statement said he was a “stronger athlete and a better person because of her” while Cullen said it was an “honour and pleasure to stand alongside” the seven-time World Champion.

But now, she added, she’s “off on my next adventure.”

Wolff was quizzed about her departure, which came as a surprise to many as the New Zealander was with Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix only to part ways less than two weeks later.

Wolff told the media at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit that “if things don’t work out anymore, then we need to be honest about it.”

“Angela was part of the gang for a long time,” said the team boss.

“I think in every team, whether that is his close circle, or also in the wider group, you know, this is not a static situation that you can freeze, because we all develop as people, we develop as an organisation.

“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 direct direction he wants to take.”

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Cullen has been by Hamilton’s side for some of his greatest achievements, including his run of four successive World titles from 2017 to 2020, and also his greatest disappointments such as his 2021 title defeat. That Sunday she was one of the first to console the driver.

Former F1 driver turned Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle reckons her sudden departure is “not great news for Lewis.

“Whenever you saw Lewis in the pit lane or paddock Angela was with him supporting him,” he said. “When he was off training, she’d be with him as well.

“So he’ll have to find somebody new, but nothing’s forever, as we know.

“I’m sure it won’t detract from his overall performance, but it’s such a treadmill now the Formula 1 season, and Angela wants to go and do something else – you can completely understand that.”