Lewis Hamilton’s shock split will ‘make things even worse’ this season

Lewis Hamilton’s split with performance coach Angela Cullen could “make things even worse” for the seven-time world champion, according to his former teammate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton announced ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that he and Cullen would no longer be working together.

The former hockey player had been a close confidante and key figure in Hamilton’s team since taking on the role in 2016, helping him to four world titles.

Though both have stressed their split was amicable, it hints at further disruption for the British driver, who again appears out of the Drivers’ Championship chase after just two races with Mercedes struggling to match Red Bull.

The 38-year-old is yet to agree to terms on a new contract beyond the current campaign.

Rosberg, Hamilton’s colleague across four Formula 1 seasons, believes Cullen’s departure may be tough for his old teammate to deal with.

“I think that probably makes things even worse because even though the split apparently was amicable, you know, Angela was a real friend I think also to him,” Rosberg, world champion in 2016, said to Sky Sports.

“And it’s with your trainer that [you spend] most of the time during a race weekend. You end up also going to dinner in a very small, tight group with maybe a family member and a trainer and that’s it – and for Lewis not to have her as well, I’m sure it’s going to be not ideal, not so nice.

“I think probably that’s another challenge and difficulty that he has to deal with and get used to.”

Hamilton finished fifth in Jeddah on Sunday, one place behind George Russell in the other Mercedes.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have shared the top two places at the first two stops on the F1 calendar, with superior speed to the rest of the grid suggesting that the team will again lead the way at the top of the standings.