After qualifying fourth - which will become ninth on the grid once he serves a penalty for a gearbox change in his auto - behind Valtteri Bottas and an all-Ferrari front row, he repeated that viewpoint.
Despite narrowly missing out on pole Raikkonen has made a strong start to the season, but he says nothing has dramatically changed since a year ago, where he struggled to match Vettel across the whole season.
Round two of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton's chances of winning the race took a hit after he was penalized five grid penalties for an unscheduled gearbox change on Friday.
"I was very happy with both laps in the end, and very happy with the result and the way the auto was handling and responding", he added.
"I don't understand what's happened", he said per Andrew Benson of BBC Sport.
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Then there's just how far Hamilton can get back up using his alternative tyre strategy and starting on a tyre which has looked the best of the three available over the weekend.
Vettel snatched an opportunistic win for Ferrari in Melbourne two weeks ago, despite Mercedes clearly having the faster auto.
That saw him finish one hundredth of a second clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who will be looking to build on victory at the opening race of the 2018 season in Melbourne. I meant it. On a track like Bahrain, with a very abrasive surface, and lots of heat, we struggled.
Raikkonen set the pace with a 1:29.868, leading Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen by 0.525 seconds, with the Dutchman being his nearest challenger. Here, it has been better and we improve a little bit.
Toro Rosso rookie Pierre Gasly is next on the grid, promising an intriguing start to Sunday's race.