"I wonder if anybody out there had money on a Lotus winning, a Ferrari second and a Red Bull in third?" wondered former F1 driver turned BBC commentator David Coulthard.
Vettel said on the podium: "The first few laps were ok but then the tyres started to fall apart.
"Lotus and Ferrari had incredible pace and we were third quickest."
Spaniard Alonso admitted it is a "worry" that Raikkonen's Lotus coped better with the high degradation of the new Pirelli tyres -- of the top six finishers, only the Finn was able to make just two pitstops.
Alonso said: "We only have five days to prepare for the next race (Malaysia) but we will again be a tough opponent."