The reigning world champion was disqualified from qualifying after not being able to provide a fuel sample for scrutiny.
Speaking on the podium after finishing third, the Red Bull driver said: "I believed I could get the podium. After a couple of laps that changed a little and I had a messy start to the race but I damaged my front wing and I had a big mistake with Daniel [Ricciardo].
"It was a fantastic race and in the end it was a nice fight with Jenson [Button] and I just squeezed my way past. It was a thrilling race, up and down all the time.
"We can be proud and we only lost a little but the car is quick and so we're looking forward to the next two races and we believe."
Vettel leads the drivers standings by 10 points.