The champion driver and currently dominant team had been shaded by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton on Friday.
But with Hamilton not getting a clear run on super-softs at the end of practice three, Vettel led team-mate Mark Webber in a Red Bull one-two.
The duo had been up front for most of the morning, swapping first position in the opening half of the session.
Hamilton eventually pipped them to the quickest time on harder tyres, slipping in a late 1m38.860s.
Drivers then gained anything from half a second to just over a second on super-softs.
Webber started the rush of qualifying simulations with a 1m38.132s, before improving to a 1m38.018s after backing off for a lap.
That was then deposed by Vettel becoming the only man in the 1m37s with a 1m37.881s lap, 0.137 seconds quicker than Webber managed.
Mercedes had to settle for third and fourth this time, with Nico Rosberg ahead of Hamilton, who had traffic early in his super-soft run.
Nico Hulkenberg got Sauber into the top 10 with ninth place in front of Jenson Button's McLaren in a very close upper midfield pack.
1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:37.881
2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:38.018
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:38.318
4. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:38.332
5. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:38.486
6. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1:38.701
7. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:38.816
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - Renault 1:38.857
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1:38.961
10. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:39.114
11. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1:39.128
12. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Renault 1:39.196
13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:39.204
14. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1:39.274
15. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:39.327
16. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 1:39.371
17. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:39.665
18. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - Renault 1:40.128
19. Charles Pic (France) Caterham - Renault 1:41.360
20. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham - Renault 1:41.614
21. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Cosworth 1:41.646
22. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Cosworth 1:42.267