Verstappen's session, though, ended in the barriers at Turn 1 as he went into a spin, called the barrier, and that was the end of FP2.
"It was very weird to be honest", said Verstappen of the crash. "The whole day has been really positive, except the last lap".
"I locked up and I was still trying to make the corner and then I chose to play it safe and take the exit road".
The Renault driver, 26, was four seconds slower than Verstappen's best effort and an eye-watering 1.3secs adrift of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, who has out-qualified the Englishman at every round of the campaign so far.
Hamilton recorded the best time in each of the three practice sessions in Baku past year, before a crash in qualifying ruined his chances of success. We witnessed a lot of track evolution, which is normal for a temporary street circuit: together with the conservative range of tyre compounds, it meant a lot of our work was about understanding the tyres and getting them to work.
A disjointed first session had to be stopped for 10 minutes after Force India's Sergio Perez misjudged the tight section at Turns 8 and 9, where he bounced over the entry kerb and smashed into the wall on exit.
The highly treacherous Turn 8 caused severe problems all day.
It was more of the same for McLaren-Honda as Fernando Alonso's session ended 30 minutes early.
The first practice got underway under a clear sky with track temperatures at a blistering 54 degrees C (129 degrees F). This afternoon's session was a lot more entertaining, the grip was coming, and you could really start to push the vehicle.
The Baku street circuit had caught out a fair few drivers in the earlier Friday session, but yellow flags were nearly a permanent feature in the afternoon, with nearly all competitors either making ample use of the run-off areas or brushing the barriers.
Free Practice 2 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix turned into a disjointed affair with plenty of incidents with drivers sliding off the track, a red flag when Jolyon Palmer hit the wall, and interrupted fast laps.
But Verstappen went into the barriers at the first corner in the dying minutes of practice, attempting to make the run-off area but losing control of his RB13.
Meanwhile, French driver Romain Grosjean was slowest and ranted constantly about brake trouble in his Haas vehicle.