Fernando Alonso is simply much more talented than Massa. There you go. It explains everything, very simply. So the next question is why do you and most others ignore this scenario? There can only be 1 reason. Refusal to accept how good Fernando really is. Felipe simply can't be as good as he used to be because that would mean Alonso is simply too good, uncomfortably good, and that is not acceptable! By the way your second scenario makes no sense. There has to be a reason a driver gets demoralised, it does not happen for no reason, so you are basically saying, he is slow because he was demoralised by being so slow. This makes no sense. The reason he was demoralised by Alonso was because he was consistently thrashed, so this happened before he was demoralised. You have the effect before the cause.
I will tell you my problems with this theory. If Massa is performing just as well as before his injury, then what happened to Ferrari? If we're looking Massa results as what Ferrari car can objectively achieve over a season then 2010. and 2011. Ferrari was clearly only third best car, and in fact closer to Mercedes than to McLaren/RBR. And now its even worse.
Now this brings us to Kimi Raikkonen who was sacked not because of his speed/pace - which was no better than Massa's, btw. But he was sacked because he couldn't 'lead the team', and give quality feedback, or at least those were words that one could read between the lines. Alonso was brought to fix that.
If your theory is correct, its one of the following:
1. Alonso is even worse than Kimi in leading the team, and much worse if we presume that he is also much faster, and yet Kimi won WDC title, and Alonso failed at that.
2. Ferrari is just building worse and worse cars for no visible reason.
Now, I do not see option 2 as most likely option.
IMHO, its much easier to explain Ferrari/Alonso/Massa results with theory that Massa somehow got worse after his injury. I mean, if you look #1 Ferrari driver results over 2007,2008,2010,2011 (intentionally skipped 2009., it was freak season, but Ferrari was also on similar level as McLaren in 'kers-league' cars)... it all fits together, they're fairly constant.
In 2007. WDC
In 2008. WDC lost in last race
In 2009. 2nd best / equal best kers car
In 2010. WDC lost in last race
In 2011. 4th place
In 2012. 3rd so far
I simply find it unlikely that Ferrari would build only 3rd best car (and this is car much closer to midfield than to first 2 cars) for 2 seasons in a row, and now in 2012. if you judge purely by Massa its 6hth, 7th or 8th best car. What did happen to Ferrari if Massa is constant???
In the end, I think its following stuff that happened in Ferrari
1. Massa is not that good after his injury, and is having problems adapting to new car/rules too.
2. Kimi Raikkonen was not sacked because of being 'non-development' driver, but because Alonso was more marketable, and is bringing more money to the table, while being a bit better overall driver.
3. Ferrari fell a bit these last seasons, but it has no relation to Raikkonen/Alonso, but to LdM and Domenicalli.
4. Massa got demoralised/demotivated a bit after Germany 2010. when he definitely realised that he will be Alonso lapdog. (he wasn't that bad actually up until that point)
Edited by velgajski1, 19 April 2012 - 07:55.