Based on the way the car performed, this result is more or less what could have been expected. Alonso has been extremely rapid, and downright brilliant at times, yet could only win once, in Britain when Vettel got held up and McLaren for some reason had lost the plot -- possibly due to the on-again, off-again rules about exhaust handling which for that race were on-again.
Overall the story has been of repeated, constant, machine-like consistency from the Red Bulls in general, and Vettel in particular. This is the season that 2010 should have been like for Red Bull.
One can also point fingers at the car. The F150
Nevertheless, in order to profit from others misfortunes you have to be there or there abouts, and when McLaren stumbled Ferrari was usually there to take the advantage.
Alonso has continued in appearing to get the best available out of his car at all opportunities. Being able to run with, and occasionally ahead of, healthy Red Bulls (albeit those driven by Mark Webber) and McLarens showed that he hasn't lost any skill or drive. He seemed to have more visible mechanical issues over the year (several DRS and KERS failures) than his team mate, yet somehow managed to stay well ahead of him most of the time. Alonso is one of those drivers who can win the championship without having the benefit of the best car on the grid.
Massa, on the other hand... I somehow feel that he's never really come back from his accident in 2009. Although I wonder how much of his poor performances has been the car (vs his just not being an Alonso-caliber driver), I somehow feel that a younger, hungrier driver might stay closer to Alonso than Massa has. I never doubt the sincerity and commitment of Massa's effort... I just think perhaps it isn't enough any more.
Overall this year was what I expected -- a Red Bull technical demonstration. McLaren comes and goes, and this year they were on more than I expected. But I never expected anything better than 3rd in the manufacturer's, and possibly 3rd in the driver's.
So now we pack everything away and await the new car introductions in January.