Every sports person needs to stay fit in order to be at the top of their game. The same applies to Formula One drivers, as F1 is a rather 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, his physiotherapist, Angela Cullen.
Cullen is a Switzerland-based physiotherapist and trainer, who has stood alongside 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 she is an integral member of Team Hamilton, she is employed by Hintsa Performance.
She is actually one of many (over a dozen) Hintsa-appointed ‘minders’ in the paddock. All of them shoulder the responsibility of keeping their drivers in good shape; mentally, physically, and psychologically.
The lines between physiotherapist, personal assistant, chauffeur, a waitress, and more are relatively non-existent as far as Cullen is concerned.
Hintsa Performance actually helped design Hamilton’s NASA-based health program. This includes a sleep doctor, to help combat jet lag as drivers travel a lot.
She started her sports career 25 years ago and has worked with elite sprinters in British athletics.
Noted paddock photographer Kym Illman spilled the beans on Cullen’s duties and responsibilities as Hamilton’s physiotherapist.
“She’s loyal to Lewis, so loyal in fact, that on her wrist she has loyalty tattooed like Lewis has on his wrist. The inner-circle are loyal to each other.”
Illman explained how Cullen’s role is much more than just being the defending champ’s physiotherapist.
“One of her roles is to get Lewis to the track. Sometimes she even has to act as a bodyguard for Lewis. 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, including at night.”
Illman went on to add that Cullen also acted as Hamilton’s valet. Kym cited an example of Angela carrying some of Lewis’ clothes at a race weekend.