The Red Bull driver stopped with a gearbox problem while leading on lap 42 out of 52.
"We had a gearbox issue, lost fifth, and when I shifted up to sixth, fifth said goodbye and damaged the rest of the gearbox," Vettel explained.
"We just lost the race by a couple of laps but there's nothing I could have done better.
"It's always frustrating but I'm not blaming the team.
"These things unfortunately happen but fortunately we've got the next race coming up next week so we can try again."
Despite losing what would have been his fourth race win of the 2013 Formula 1 season, Vettel retains a 21-point lead over main rival Fernando Alonso, who finished third.