Claire Williams says she is thrilled to see Felipe Massa enjoying a 'renaissance' at Williams, saying the renewed success he has enjoyed with the team since joining in 2014 has 'proven everybody wrong'.

Replaced by Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari after eight seasons with the Scuderia, Massa opted to join Williams for 2014, a move seen as risky at the time on the back of the team's worst season in F1.

However, while many predicted the deal would signal the 'twilight' of Massa's F1 career following his disappointing results during the latter period of his Ferrari tenure, the 34 year-old has enjoyed a career of sorts in tandem with Williams' sharp upturn in form since 2014.

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Now confirmed to enter a third season with Williams in 2016, Massa - now the 10th most experienced driver to have raced in F1 - has in particular turned heads in 2015 as he goes toe-to-toe with highly-rated team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Indeed, on the back of Massa's second podium in the season at Monza, one that sees him cement fourth in the overall standings ahead of Bottas and Raikkonen, even Williams admits the results have exceeded their expectations.

"I think Felipe has done a brilliant job and by far. He has exceeded expectations with Williams and he is a great driver to have around," she told

"I hate the word re-birth but renaissance. I was so pleased that he agreed to join our team. For us, where we were, for Felipe to take that risk on us, that was a real coup for Williams, to attract someone with his level of experience. I think what he's managed to achieve, it's like a new beginning for him, I think for both of us.

"We came together at completely the right time and I think there were doubters in the paddock who probably did think he was in the twilight but I think he has proven everybody wrong. It has been a new beginning; it's a team that suits him really well and that he has said many times that it's a team he feels comfortable in. He's a great personality fit for us.

Indeed, Williams says Massa's presence has had a massive impact on the team and its direction, saying his passion for F1 drives motivation.

"Personally, I enjoy working with him immensely and I know I everyone else does. I think when you have that kind of relationship, it's just easy. This is a very easy team and a very easy environment for the drivers, everyone here is just doing what they love and I think that permeates through everything we do.

"That provides a really strong stage for optimising performance capabilities we have in house."