New Williams Driver, Felipe Massa, is 'Real Deal'

Williams chief test engineer, Rod Nelson, has described new recruit, Felipe Massa, as "the real deal" and admitted the way he has adapted has surprised the team. The 32-year-old Brazilian ended his eight-year association with Ferrari in November to replace Venezuelan, Pastor Maldonado, at Williams.

Massa has enjoyed 11 race victories since making his Formula 1 debut with Sauber in 2002 and Nelson has seen enough in the off-season to suggest he will be a hit alongside new teammate Valtteri Bottas.

"Felipe's good, make no mistake," said Nelson, who himself only linked up with Williams from Lotus in January.

"He's the real deal. He's got a lot of experience. I know Fernando [Alonso] very well obviously because I was at Renault for four years and Felipe is no slouch.

"He's open enough to do things that maybe he's not as convinced about. He's quite open-minded about things and you know what his opinion is when you speak to him. All you're after is honesty. I think he's surprised us, actually."

Williams have been busy on the recruitment front since the end of 2013 as they aim to bounce back from the joint-worst season in their history, a campaign that frustrated many sports betting fans on the bet365 website.

The England-based team this week reunited Massa with Rob Smedley, his race engineer at Ferrari.

Smedly's new role with Williams is more senior but he will still be working closely with Massa, trying to improve on his eighth-place finish last season in a new car.

Nelson believes experience will be vital in 2014; something F1 betting fans know Massa has in abundance. "He's good. You could put a young guy in the car but if you did that you pay your tax, and he's been there before," Nelson added.