After sitting out FP1 for young driver Jack Dennis, Verstappen was left with the second session run in the more representative conditions to get up to speed with the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of qualifying.
At times, Verstappen showed great impatience, initially as Williams duo Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant pushed into the line of cars in the pit lane once the session resumed after Sainz's incident that took 27 minutes to clear.
Following the second red flag to remove Hulkenberg's car which cost a further seven minutes, Verstappen was then held up by Hamilton and Russell as the cars dipped down and through the tunnel that feeds onto the track.
The three-time F1 champion initially barged his way past Russell on entry into the tunnel before pulling up alongside Hamilton, only to find his path blocked as there was no room to push past.
Once the tunnel widened as it curved to the left, Verstappen finally found space to pass.
“They have to move!” bemoaned Verstappen about Russell and Hamilton.
“They are all driving slow and I want to go out because we are all limited on time and they keep on driving in the middle.
“Then I went to pass, and they tried to squeeze me into the wall. So a bit silly.”
Verstappen eventually finished third quickest, 0.173secs behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, and covering 17 laps despite the short time frame on track.
Even so, the Dutch driver feels he still has “a lot to figure out for FP3 to be good in qualifying” given he described his RB19 at one stage over the radio as “bouncing like a kangaroo”.
“The balance was very off,” assessed Verstappen. “A lot of understeer, a lot of jumping so definitely a few things to figure out for tomorrow.
“I didn't expect it to be so far off so that's a bit of a question mark for us. We're still P3, it's not too bad, but balance-wise it can be a lot better. We'll try to have a look at what happened there.”