"It's been five years since I won here the first time but it feels just as good. It feels great to be on the top step, we never take it for granted," he said.
"This for me feels like one of the very best races I have had for a long time."
Vettel had started from pole, just like last year, and led the early part of the 70 lap race but lost pace over the final laps to finish fourth in a grand prix that his Red Bull team have yet to win.
Spaniard Alonso, bidding to give resurgent Ferrari a victory on the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of former-Ferrari great Gilles Villeneuve but struggling on worn tyres at the finish, had to settle for fifth.
In Image: Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, left, of France celebrates his first podium with a second-place finish, as the winning driver, McLaren Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, pats him on the back