Lewis Hamilton announced a split from his long-term performance coach Angela Cullen on Friday with both posting tributes on social media.
New Zealander Cullen has been a constant paddock presence supporting Hamilton on race weekends for much of the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion’s time at Mercedes.
The 48-year-old has become a familiar face to television viewers, attending to Hamilton in a role that was as much personal assistant and confidante.
“For the last seven years, Angela Cullen has been by my side, pushing me to be the best version of myself,” the 38-year-old Briton said on Instagram ahead of the weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.
“I am a stronger athlete and a better person because of her. So today I hope you’ll join me in wishing her the very best as she takes her next steps to pursue her dreams.
“Thank you for everything Ang, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.”
The end of a seven-year partnership
Cullen said on her Instagram page that it was seven years to the day since she stood in the F1 paddock in Australia for the first time.
“I am so grateful and blessed to have had this incredible journey in F1 and I know my story will continue,” she said.
“And @lewishamilton you GOAT!! It’s been such an honour and pleasure to stand along side you. I’m so proud of you and everything you have achieved.”
The most successful Formula 1 driver of all time, Hamilton has not won a race since his 103rd victory in December 2021 at Jeddah’s Corniche circuit.
Last season was the first of Hamilton’s Formula 1 career without a win and Mercedes started the 2023 season with a car that looks uncompetitive compared to that of reigning champions Red Bull.
Hamilton is out of contract at Mercedes at the end of the season but has said he wants to stay, with talks started on a new deal.
“I still have 100% belief in this team, it is my family and I’ve been here a long time. So I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“But we all need a kick, we all need to get on,” he said when asked about recent comments suggesting he felt Mercedes had not listened to his input on the new car. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)