My opinion about all this:
Massa has never been a great driver. Maybe competent but erratic. It was already visible in his Sauber days. But because his manager being who he is, he stayed in F1, and with Barrichello gone, he got a Ferrari drive.
He drove with Schumacher, and it was clear to him that he would be in a support role, as he wouldn't be, at least from the beginning, as good as Schumacher. Therefore had no pressure. Because of some Schumacher problems late in 2006, he got the illusion that he was really close to him, also with all the press saying how good of a learner he was (I think his "try to learn!" to Alonso in Nurburgring 2007 was him bragging about that to some extent) but actually he wasn't that close.
Then Schumacher retired, Raikkonen came, and this time he shouldn't be a support driver because Schumacher was gone. Raikkonen couldn't adapt to Ferrari, and he didn't perform at his peak. Massa had no pressure and started to work really hard, as he wanted to pick up where he thought he left with Schumacher. So Massa eventually beat him, and the press hyped. So at this point, in his mind, he ended on par with the most successful ever F1 driver, and beat a very high reputation driver.
Then he knew Alonso would be his team mate. Alonso, who spent the last few years in the midfield, who "threw his toys out of the pram ©" in 2007 only because he had a competitive team mate, who made poor Piquet crash for him in 2008, who never had a competitive team mate... so after having done so good against Schumacher and Raikkonen, all he had to do is put a little pressure on him, and he would "throw his toys out of the pram ©".
Then comes Bahrain 2010, and outqualifies Alonso, aha! Just like Hamilton in Australia 2007, this bodes well. However, Ron Dennis wasn't at Ferrari, and Alonso instead didn't reveal a hint of frustration, and even with his mistakes in the first half of the season, he made clear that he was driving better, as he was, and the team was also behind him. So maybe Massa, being the very nice guy to the Ferrari boys for several years, was starting to be a little unsure and in denial of his position on how good he was and how the team sees him. Then Hockenheim 2010 came, and reality
hit him hard, it was a confirmation of what he feared the most, but didn't want to look at. But it's not Alonso's or Ferrari's fault, it's just that Massa was too arrogant. And he couldn't hide behind anything now. And no, not the accident, as he himself said.
Edited by prty, 17 August 2012 - 23:39.