Every sportsperson needs to stay fit in order to be at the top of their game. The same applies for Formula One drivers as well, as F1 is quite a physically draining sport. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton recently wrapped up his sixth Formula One world championship.
Right from the 2016 season onwards, Lewis Hamilton has been joined by a constant face in his corner. Namely, his physiotherapist, Angela Cullen. Cullen is a Switzerland-based physiotherapist and trainer, who has stuck with the Briton for much of his career.
She is responsible for the six-time champion’s diet, sleep patterns, travel plans and mental training. Although the silver-haired woman is an integral member of Team Hamilton, she is employed by Hintsa Performance. She’s is actually one of over a dozen Hintsa-appointed ‘minders’ in the paddock’ All of them are charged with keeping their drivers in top condition: mentally, physically and psychologically.
Her other duties are personal assistant, chauffeur, waitress and even helps him wake up. Hintsa Performance actually helped design Hamilton’s Nasa-based health programme. This includes a sleep doctor, to help combat jet lag, since drivers travel a lot. She started her sports career 25 years ago and has worked with elite sprinters in British athletics.
In an interview with New Zealand Herald, she revealed that on the outside, she is seen a physiotherapist. However, that is far from the truth, as she is actually the performance coach of Lewis Hamilton.
Cullen also admitted that during a race weekend, her primary role is ‘to eliminate any external factors’. In other words, she ensures that the Mercedes driver is fully focused on his driving and does not have to worry about anything else.
She also told the New Zealand Herald, “I wake him up in the morning, I order his food, I drive him to the track, I manage his whole schedule for the weekend and basically eliminate anything over the course of his weekend that could take energy away from him thinking about his race day and making sure his performance is 100 per cent.”
“He is incredibly humble and incredibly respectful and I think the media give him such a hard time,” Cullen says. “I think it’s just one of those scenarios where, when you are at the top of the game, you are going to be the person that gets taken down.”