The only flaw/mistake Ferrari, Santander & Alonso partnership made was paying Kimi Raikkonen not to race in 2010.... instead electing to keep Massa onboard.
Bringing in Alonso to Ferrari is a very good decision no doubt, and Alonso is proving so. Kimi Raikkonen would have left Ferrari after his contract expired in 2010 anyways, maybe moving to Rallying or to RedBull F1 according to the scene. So there was actually never going to be any fireworks such as 2007 as the partnership would have been an interim one.
Ferrari could easily have kept Massa in the recovery bed for the 2010 season, paid his salary & brought him back for 2011 when Kimi left. It would have been way cheaper too. Or, they could have then got Kubica etc a shot at the seat for 2011.
With Kimi on-board, Ferrari could atleast have relied on both drivers pushing each other to the limit, extracting the most of the car in 2010 as well as beating the RBR's on track more often by hunting in pairs. Also, the development of the 2011 car would have been of higher grade as well. All Massa did in 2010 & now in 2011 is absolutely nothing... nothing substantial at all. Which engineer will believe Massa's suggestions when he's 1.7 sec slower in race pace (singapore/overall) to Alonso.
People claiming Massa is better than Kimi can shut it. And people saying Alonso is not doing anything spectacular in this years Ferrari can shut it too. Fernando has done all season with the 150 what Raikkonen did in the second half of 2009 with the F60. That partnership for just one year is what might have revived the passion in fans even more and got the Ferrari tech department a lot of great feedbacks for 2011 car.
Now all Ferrari are left with is one driver taking the WHOLE LOAD on his shoulders, which is not right on Domi & Luca's part to expect miracles from Alonso alone.
Anyways, for Alonso's sake... Ferrari needs to get someone to trouble and push him a bit more. In todays competitive F1 with 5 WDC on the grid..... you can't rely on Rubens 'cough' Massa to make an impact on the grid.
PS- I imagine seeing Hamilton, Button & Vettel actually laugh if they see Massa in front of them. He's a nobody at the moment, hasn't been since 2010. And thats a bad thing for Ferrari as far as morale goes if one of it's driver is not even considered to be a challenge... more like a joke.
While u might be a bit hard on Massa i have to say i agree with the general idea regarding him.
Massa is just out of contention, we all could expect Alonso beating him, but this is being too much, he has been clearly underperforming, Ferrari needs a driver in there not only to push Fernando, which i think he really doesn´t need it,he will always give the maximum and extract 105% out of the car, but fighting the RB´s and the McLaren´s and truly helping to improve the car.
When i read about the rumors with Button my first thought was too good to be true, nice character, fanfastic driver, experienced, perfect fit, he can really be that guy fighting not only Alonso but also Hamilton and Vettel.
But i think Ferrari will keep Massa for 2012, so at this point it really lies down on Ferrari producing a good car capable of W´s since the beginning of the season, they don´t even need the best car, Alonso proved he can make it without the best car.
If the Ferrari 2012 follows the same path than this year´s Ferrari we will have exactly the same type of season, Alonso trying to produce miracles and Massa lost in mediocrity.