Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says she was unaware that Felipe Massa did not want to retire at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season, before bringing him back into a race seat for the new campaign.
Massa announced last September that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the 2016 season, making way for 18-year-old Lance Stroll to partner Valtteri Bottas at Williams.
But when Bottas was approached by Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg following the World Champion's shock retirement, Williams contacted Massa to see if he would be interested in backtracking on his decision to quit.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Williams expressed her confidence in bringing Massa back, and revealed that she was unaware the Brazilian was not ready to stop racing in F1 at the end of last year.
"We are never going to put a driver in the car who we don't believe can deliver," Williams said.
"As everyone saw even in his last race last year, he delivered for this team.
"He has lost none of his motivation. I know there's a lot of talk out there 'let the guy retire, leave him alone'. He wants to come back.
"Little-known to me, I didn't actually realise that he didn't really want to retire and so I think Felipe is going to do a good job this year."
Williams also said that she felt bad asking Massa to un-retire, but was relieved to hear his excitement upon receiving the offer to race in 2017.
"Felipe had announced his retirement, we had a whole fanfare around it, and then to have to phone your ex-driver up and say 'would you mind coming out of retirement?' you feel quite bad about it," Williams said.
"But I've never heard anyone so happy and excited, so it was a big relief for us."