The fact that it was Ferrari that made the decision to pit that lap, rather than it being Raikkonen's call, stirred those of a cynical mind as if he had stayed out even one more lap he would have been ahead of the Sauber driver and in clear air.
As such Vettel now leads the race for the World title by 25 points ahead of Hamilton, who was P7 on the day.
"It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver", Hamilton told reporters. Valtteri has been doing a great job and I don't now feel we have to favour one or the other. They corrected things and it was worse so then we went back to this unknown scenario.
"It's hard for the leader here to be passed - unless the team decides to favour one auto", Lewis Hamilton, now 25 points behind Vettel after six races, said.
Ferrari now enjoys a 17-point advantage over Mercedes in the Constructors' standings, with the German squad now chasing its Italian rival as roles are reversed.
"I'm trying to figure out something that is impossible to know right now, at least from my side", said Raikkonen, when asked about the timing of his stop. 'It's the most unusual the auto has felt in all the years I've been with the team.
"I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn't over", said Hamilton.
The obvious conclusion - although Ferrari denies it - was that the team deliberately engineered the situation so that Vettel scored maximum points ahead of the Finn.
With new regulations created to make cars wider, heavier and faster this year, Ferrari seems to have worked wonders in the factory while Mercedes appears to be going backward.
"I don't think they saw that coming". "There's so many things we have got to look into to try to understand why one vehicle could make it work and the other couldn't. But bit by bit we'll try and chip away at it".
A gearbox failure for Renault's Nico Hulkenberg before Sergio Perez pitted for a new front wing promoted him to 10th, but the triple world champion, complaining of poor grip, was already 35 seconds behind race leader Raikkonen by the end of lap 24.
"Trust me, I will be pushing, and the guys will be pushing to fully understand it because we don't want to be in this position again".
With the drivers trundling behind the safety vehicle, tire temperatures dropped dramatically and some could not cope.