Global tire manufacturer of excellence and exclusive provider of Formula One, Pirelli, invited only three F1 car manufacturers to its annual Paul Ricard wet tire test this January. Pirelli is reported to have turned down Mercedes’ offer of running its winning F1 championship race car for the wet weather test, opting for Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren instead.

The Italian tire manufacturer’s two-day wet tire test on the Paul Ricard circuit saw a total of 659 laps completed around the wet 3.8km testing track at Le Castellet, France. The distances covered and the data gathered by Pirelli is used to assess the behavior of their prototype tires in variable track conditions and terrains.

True to his lightning reputation, four-times world champion, Sebastian Vettel of the Ferrari team, set the fastest time, with a 1 min 06.750sec time, running intermediate tires, and completed a grand total of 134 in just one day (around 293 miles), making your Bay Area commute look like a walk in the park.

Despite his astounding performance at Paul Ricard and Ferrari President, Sergio Marchionne, tipping his as the “team to beat” in Melbourne on March 20, Vettel remains cautious, saying that Ferrari should focus on the bigger picture for 2016.

Pirelli’s Paul Ricard track is equipped with the latest in technology and a variable sprinkler system that allows the tire manufacturer to test with varying volumes of water on the track.

Regardless of the weather, the track allows Pirelli to simulate variable conditions and test the performance of their world class quality tires. Vettel’s winning time of just over one minute was a fraction fasters than runner-up Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.

McLaren’s main driver didn’t make an appearance and reserve driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, finished with a lap time of one whole second slower than Vettel.

Just thinking about the prospect of the new season starting up is enough to get Ferrari lovers spines’ tingling, with the first pre-season test starting in Barcelona on 22 February and the Melbourne Grand Prix kicking off four weeks later.

With nearly 700 laps completed by Pirelli’s superior quality track-control tires, anyone looking for car buying tips should seriously think about the tires their chosen make and model come with, and if they can match Pirelli in terms of safety in hard weather conditions.

Whatever the 2016 season has in store, with Vettel behind the wheel it’s sure to be an exciting one, and Ferrari fans are waiting for it with baited breath.

Michael Peggs is the founder of content marketing agency and SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.