ABU DHABI - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton said Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was "lucky" to finish the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the podium after starting in the pit lane.
The German climbed through the field to take third place, one place behind title rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
"(It was) incredible how he came up. He must be the luckiest driver in F1," said Hamilton, who retired from the lead before half distance.
Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first victory since returning to F1.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh also claimed Vettel was "lucky", but Red Bull boss Christian Horner said it was one of Vettel's finest drives.
"He drove a phenomenal race - you can see the number of cars he passed," Horner said. "It was one of the best of his career. He really went for it."
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said: "He did a great race. He had moments when he was lucky and moments when he was unlucky.
"He had a safety car at the right moment, which took his gap down from 22 seconds to 10 seconds. He was able to start last and finish third, so he maximised the situation and it was a perfect race for him." Vettel's recovery drive meant he minimised the loss of points to Alonso, who is 10 points behind heading into the final two races.