"It was awesome. All three of us had a bit of redemption on our plate today. It was a pretty dismal Saturday for us so we're all pretty happy. This is definitely one of my best podiums this year."

A bit further down the road, Vettel found himself engaged in a thrilling duel with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Both drivers flexed their egos, complaining about each other's driving style on the pit-to-car radios but in the end Vettel swooped past Alonso for fifth place.

Early incident

The dramatic race had been delayed for an hour after a crash involving Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari on the opening lap.

The Finn, who has had a difficult season since returning to the Italian team, lost control as he turned into the Wellington Straight. As he rejoined the track at speed, the car kicked out into repeated spins.

The Finn plunged into the barriers on the right and then collided with Felipe Massa's Williams -- the damage enough to end the Brazilian's 200th grand prix in miserable fashion.

The Ferrari spokesman told the media: "Kimi is OK. He obviously got a big hit. He only seems to be having some bruises to his ankle and a little bit on his knee."

The bruising 2014 championship continues at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in two week's time.