Aug.29 (GMM) With the long August break now over, Niki Lauda thinks the 2012 championship is entering a decisive phase this weekend at fabled Spa Francorchamps.
Asked if he is looking forward to the highly popular Belgian Grand Prix, the triple world champion and F1 legend admitted: "Thank god we at least had the Olympics since the last race.
"Otherwise it would have become really boring," the 63-year-old Austrian told Osterreich newspaper.
"We can expect a spectacular weekend at Spa."
Lauda said it is time Fernando Alonso's pursuers get to grips with his runaway 40-point lead in the drivers' standings.
"For Vettel, Hamilton and the others, it is now something of a preliminary decision time. Now is the need to score points.
"If they are not the front runners at Spa and a week later in Monza, Alonso will be gone."
Lauda said he doubts Michael Schumacher will celebrate his 300th Grand Prix with a victory at his favourite circuit.
"I wish him all the best for his anniversary race, but Spa is a very difficult track aerodynamically.