Williams’ new technical director Paddy Lowe insists that in Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll the Grove team has two “great” drivers on board.
Williams lost Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes at the end of last season, resulting in the team recalling Massa out of retirement.
The Brazilian will partner rookie racer Stroll, who had an inauspicious start to his Formula 1 career with three offs in two days of testing, the last one costing the team an entire day as he damaged the chassis.
The partnership has raised some questions, however, Lowe, who has joined Williams from Mercedes, insists it is a “great” line-up.
“The line-up we have with Felipe and Lance is really exciting in itself,” he told Autosport.
“I understand what you say, that you could accuse them [Williams] of losing their star driver, but actually Felipe and Valtteri are both great drivers.
“I’ve been a big admirer of Felipe throughout his career, he drove an absolutely amazing season in 2008 and so narrowly missed the championship competing with Lewis.
“As the competition of that time, I was very admiring of Felipe and his performance so it’s really great for me to come and work with him.
“I don’t see Felipe as a poor option.”