Vettel was handed a drive-through penalty for not leaving Alonso a wide enough gap on the outside of the Curva Grande as they battled for position.
Alonso eventually recovered to overtake Vettel a few laps later, but it was only after the race that Ferrari discovered how lucky the Spaniard had been.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "We had a problem with the car and if you see, it has big damage on the left rear and also there was something broken from a mechanical point of view.
"We told him at the end not to go on the kerbs because he could have had a bigger problem. I am pleased that he finished the race."
Although Red Bull and Vettel did not believe that the incident warranted a penalty, Domenicali believes the stewards did the right thing because of the recent rules clarification by the FIA about defensive driving.
"After what happened in Bahrain there was a clarification from race control that the driver in front has to leave space if there is a part of the car that is approaching that is already beside," he explained.
"I heard people ask why last year [Alonso] was not penalised [after a similar incident]. What I can say is that it was a different situation.
"If you look at the slow motion, even if it is not really correct to look at slow motion because they are racing live at 300 km/h, it is totally different and this year it is a different rule."