Mercedes asked Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas to move aside to allow him to fight for victory in Bahrain earlier this year, and the Finn admitted that his "job" in the Spanish Grand Prix a fortnight ago was to hold up Vettel when his pit strategy put him ahead of the Ferrari on track.
Despite the setback, Hamilton, who has won only two races this season to Vettel's three, saw the glass as half full.
Despite that, there was some hope for Hamilton that Vettel might not win the race as Kimi Raikkonen qualified first.More news: Library offers summer reading program
Vettel denied his Ferrari team had pre-conceived a plot in order to ensure he would win and maximise the damage to Hamilton in the title race.
"We have been dropping in and out of the tyre window, never had two drivers or two cars over the whole course of a weekend within that window".
Sebastian Vettel says that scoring Ferrari's first Monaco GP win since Michael Schumacher's 2001 success was "special" - but the German was also keen to point out that he was not favored over Kimi Raikkonen by team orders. The victor, Japan's Takumo Sato (another ex-Formula 1 teammate of Button) was unknown until virtually the very last lap - when was the last time we could say that about a Formula 1 race? We are under no illusion that we are not flawless and have still go areas to improve on. "There's so many things we have got to look into to try to understand why one vehicle could make it work and the other couldn't".
"It was what we calculated as the optimum result without any incidents and this is where he came in", said team boss Toto Wolff, who conceded that their vehicle simply wasn't fast enough this weekend.More news: French Open to start with Petra Kvitova's return to court
"No, I haven't spoken to the team [about that] and I don't really plan to".
Hamilton, who struggled all weekend in Monte Carlo, will now aim to bounce back at one of his favourite races, next month's Canadian Grand Prix, but has admitted he faces a major challenge.
"We still came away from here with some points. One more race like that and we will be much further behind - it is hard to get to within six points and in firing range, but bit by bit we will chip away at it". Oddly, it is not an issue which is effecting his team-mate Valtteri Bottas. "Who knows what is going to happen?" "We had to cover Max (Verstappen) who was posting some really quick sectors and at the same time Valtteri was going slower and slower".
Raikkonen was stoney-faced and more taciturn than usual when retired 2016 champion Nico Rosberg interviewed him by the podium. "Congratulations from our side - we need to give them credit". We need to catch up. "This is the new reality".More news: Rajinikanth fans protest in Chennai against groups opposing his political debut