Ferrari had a plan to use Charles Leclerc for slipstream to make themselves first and second on the first lap in Sochi, but it went wrong as Vettel managed to take the lead and pull away, against their plan.
The team asked Vettel to give up the position, and pitted him a few laps after Leclerc to allow the Monegasque through, before the German suffered his MGU-K issue.
The 1997 world champion said on Sky Sports' Italian coverage: “I didn’t like how Ferrari managed the strategy.
“They didn’t have to tell Vettel immediately to give the place back and then they spent the rest of the race thinking about how to get Leclerc back out in front and then karma punished them.
“Vettel was faster today and deserved to stay ahead.”