Ferrari’s decision to incur a gearbox penalty for Felipe Massa to benefit Fernando Alonso was undoubtedly controversial and shows the desperation of a team who can see that their car is not fast enough to win the driver’s title.
What they did may have been very much legal and they openly admitted it was to benefit Alonso but if he can’t win the title starting from wherever he has to on the grid then perhaps he is not deserving of it.
The decision the team made disadvantaged Massa, who had he been allowed to start from his qualifying position could have even challenged for the race victory. He raced from 11th to fifth just behind Alonso seeming to demonstrate that starting in 8th wouldn’t have been as bad as Ferrari feared.
Not only did they disadvantage Massa but also all those who qualified on the clean side of the grid and were forced to start on the dirty side. Ferrari may think that driving for the title is more important but those drivers moved to the dirty side(notably Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna) are fighting for their racing careers.
Maybe Ferrari thought by admitting that they deliberately broke the seal on Massa’s gearbox they would be getting credit from the other teams but all the teams are fighting for position in the constructors championship not just Ferrari and Red Bull.
If the title wasn’t lost already it almost certainly is now, Ferrari haven’t produced a car fast enough to win the title. If they had Alonso could and most probably would already be drivers champion for 2012.
Alonso will need a miracle to win the title in Brazil. He might get lucky if it rains but it would mean Sebastian Vettel having a nightmare of a race and on recent form that looks unlikely especially when starting from the pitlane he finished on the podium in Abu Dhabi.
It is unlikely that Alonso could have started from the pitlane and won at any Grand Prix so far this year. If that is what it takes to win a championship, and it seems a pretty good indicator of a good racer and car, then Alonso and Ferrari simply don’t deserve to win the drivers championship.