What downward trend are you referring to? Here are Massa's results before Germany: 2, 3, 7, 9, 6, 4, 7, 15, 11, 15
And here are his results Germany and beyond: 2, 4, 4, 3, 8, Ret, 3, 15, 10
The theory that the German team orders destroyed Massa are unfounded.
Downward trend in performance not results which tell some if not the full story.
Before Germany his lowest position based on performance was a ninth in China in a wet race, and a seventh in Turkey beating Alonso in the dry. He was able to match and beat Alonso on several occasions and the last three results make it look worse except:
The 15th in Canada down to him breaking his front wing in a first lap incident with a divebombing Liuzzi. He had qualifed seventh
The 11th in Valencia was down to the ill timed safety car and double stacking behind Alonso, up to that point he was running in fourth behind Alonso
The 15th place in Silverstone down to a puncture after a first lap incident with Alonso, after qualifying seventh but managing with a good start to get right behind him.
So in general considering the relative pace of all of the cars, his results performance wise weren't bad, and it was only three monumental examples of bad luck in the last three races which put him out of the championship contention.
I don't think we should include Germany in the results post Hockenheim (which is what I've said) for obvious reasons.
After he got a fourth in Spa thanks to two of the leaders crashing out one way or another. (Also he beat Alonso, but the latter struggled on a wet track during qualifying, got hit by Barichello, chose the wrong tyres and span out having a mare of a race).
Snagged third place with the fastest car at Monza, but was nowhere near the other two drivers.
Finished 8th in Singapore a track which he had almost won at in the past (nelson aside), compared to his team mate who won the race.
Retired in Japan after poor decision making on the first lap.
Scored a lucky podium in Korea far behind the two leaders, and only because Vettel, Webber and Rosberg dnfd
and than had two abysmal races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi which would frame the rest of his career up to date.
Performance wise he was definitely on a downward trend, and the nightmare of Spa aside not once did he beat or outqualify Alonso again.
Edited by Kvothe, 14 August 2012 - 20:53.