Williams' Pastor Maldonado took eighth in his Renault-powered Williams while Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten.
Hamilton, champion in 2008, has vowed to bounce back from a disappointing series last year when he was distracted by personal problems and finished fifth in the standings.
And Vettel is launching his bid to become only the third driver to win three Formula One championships in a row, after the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
Narain strugglesNarain Karthikeyan and Pedro De La Rosa struggled with their HRTF1 cars and ultimately both drivers failed to make the cut-off time to be allowed to start the race. Hydraulic problems hampered the team's running on Friday and both drivers had to go into the race unprepared.