Although able to reel in the leading duo twice thanks to a pair of Safety Car periods, the 2007 world champion was never able to mount a genuine challenge for the win at Marina Bay Circuit.
“Today was a struggle again and I had no chance to do anything about the first two,” said Raikkonen. “I could follow them initially but then my tyres went.
“For whatever reason, yesterday morning already in practice we had difficult handling with the car and through qualifying it was not exactly what we wanted. I was a bit surprised to be still third. It was good, given all the difficulties I felt. But it kept happening in the race.
“It was a bit tricky, but in the end, with the difficulties we’ve had for the past few days, we still finish third. It’s OK, not ideal but I’ll take it. For the team, it’s a great result. Hopefully, we can improve on this.”
While Raikkonen picked up his 79th career podium at Singapore, this was only his second - after Bahrain - in a year that has already seen Vettel win three races and secure another six top-three finishes.
“We’ve had some other chances to be on the podium a few times but either I made a mistake or something else happened,” explained the 35-year-old.
“It’s a bit of an up and down year. Hopefully we keep building and we learn a lot. There’s still some way to go to be exactly where we want to be. But it’s getting there.
“We just have to have some patience to build on this.”
Click here for some of the most memorable crashes at Singapore