A new exhaust system debuted on the Ferrari on Thursday © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa says Ferrari's latest upgrades must provide a solid step forward, but is aware the team's rivals will also be making significant improvements.

Ferrari debuted a new exhaust system on Thursday morning with Fernando Alonso behind the wheel, but Massa said the full upgrade will not arrive on the F2012 until the next race at Barcelona. On Wednesday Massa tested a smaller update package, admitting "the defects are the same", but he is hopeful Ferrari will improve the car over the next few races.

"It's obvious we need to make a good step forward as soon as possible if we want to be competitive," Massa said. "I am confident about the work we have done in these past few weeks, but we won't really know if we have reached our targets until we get to Barcelona.

"We can be sure the other teams have also worked a lot, so if we want to make progress, we will have had to make a significant leap forward in performance terms. It is a very long championship, but we need to make up ground in the next three to five races if want to achieve our goals and this is a key moment to improve our situation."

But Massa warned: "To close the gap to the guys who are winning the races is a little bit too optimistic."

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