I'm hoping to have a non-inflamitory, well-balanced discussion. No opinion is either "right" or "wrong" and i'll go first:
Alonso was odds-on favourite to win the WDC at the Summer break. Looking at all the bookies odds at the Summer break, one could see him as clear favourite with Vettel as low as 4th (possibly because McLarens were in the ascendency?)
Nando had a 40+ point lead.
The Ferrari had bullet-proof reliability (unlike Vettel's RBR-Renault with it's alternator failures at Valencia and Monza) and the Scuderia did their best to make sure Nando didn't get any grid penalties (unlike,say, Vettel's 22-spot penalty at Abu Dhabi....and Hamilton's 23-spot grid penalty earlier in Spain).
In fact, Ferrari actually penalized Massa 5 spots deliberately when they manipulated grid positions at Austin to give Nando the clean side and move him up an extra spot closer to Vettel.
The Ferrari pitstops were the best over-all whereas McLarens and Red Bulls floundered from time to time, even as late as Interlagos for Vettel.
But it started to really unravel in Belgium (not Alonso's fault) and then in Japan - where Massa took 2nd for Ferrari. At Suzuka, Alonso was his own downfall. His tangle with Kimi when he moved over on the Finn was his own doing. His DNF in Japan can't be blamed on anyone else but himself.
Further, in the Championship "run in" Nando quite clearly under-qualified the Ferrari. In 3 of the last 5 races, Alonso was slower than Massa..and, so, Ferrari had to subjugate Massa and asked Massa to drive to less than their car's capacity so Nando's points haul could be maximized. These 3 races were Korea, Austin and Interlagos.
Ferrari and Massa did everything to boost a waning Alonso.
In comparison, Vettel had to over-come a 22-spot grid penalty and Webber, basically, "squeezing' him unnessessarily ... this after Webber said he'd drive "flat out" for himself as late as round 18.
Alonso choked inspite of everything being handed to him on a silver plate by Ferrari and Massa.
I don't think Alonso gave it everything whereas Vettel gave it everything inspite of the odds, Renault and Webber stacked against him.
Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 10 December 2012 - 18:27.