Logan Sargeant, embarking upon a maiden Q3 appearance, ended up in the barrier at Turn 2, prompting lengthy barrier repairs.
Once the session was resumed, the McLarens laid down the gauntlet following the opening runs, with Norris leading Piastri and both ending up clear of Verstappen.
However, once again a delay was forthcoming as Leclerc ran out wide at Turn 9 and was unable to stop his Ferrari from sliding across the grass and into the barrier.
The session restarted once more and Verstappen produced a 1:10.567 to eclipse Norris by half a second.
George Russell wound up third in the sole Mercedes in Q3, edging out Alex Albon, who secured an impressive fourth for Williams.
Fernando Alonso completed the top five, ahead of Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez in the secondary Red Bull and Oscar Piastri.
Leclerc and Sargeant were made to rue their incidents, bringing up the rear of the top 10.
With the sun breaking through on the eve of qualifying getting underway, every single driver took to the track at the beginning of Q1 fitted with the Intermediate tyre.
The conditions, however, continued to prove treacherous, with both Nico Hulkenberg and Verstappen heading through the gravel and onto the escape road down at Turn 1.
As the track ramped up, several drivers topped the times, with Albon maintaining his impressive Friday pace to lead the way.
Despite the rain intensity picking up again during the closing minutes of Q1, track conditions remained good enough for drivers to improve on their final runs, allowing Leclerc to narrowly escape the drop zone.
The Ferrari driver demoted Zhou Guanyu to ensure that Alfa Romeo’s struggles continued, as Valtteri Bottas was left utterly perplexed by ending up only 19th overall.
Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen and Liam Lawson, embarking upon his F1 qualifying debut for AlphaTauri in place of the sidelined Daniel Ricciardo, were the three other names to have their participation cut short early.
The second stage got underway in precisely the same conditions, but a dry line was starting to emerge the more the drivers pounded around on the greasy track surface.
However, the Intermediate compound remained the preferred option throughout, with many drivers opting to switch to a brand-new set for the closing stages.
Hamilton provided the surprise of qualifying as the seven-time World Champion abandoned his last run, condemning him a 13th-place start for tomorrow’s grand prix.
With Albon again comfortably occupying a place inside the top 10, Williams team-mate Sargeant progressed to Q3 for the first time ever in his F1 career.
The American’s last-gasp effort pushed Lance Stroll out. Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg accompanied Hamilton and Stroll in failing to make the cut for Q3.
But at the front, Verstappen will be lining up in the best place possible as he bids to equal Sebastian Vettel’s nine consecutive wins record.