Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable advantage over teammate Daniel Ricciardo to high the FP1 occasions by nearly half a second.
The Dutchman burst clear in the second half of the session onto a 1m38.491so left him 0.454s apparent of Ricciardo, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was the only other driver to lap within a second of Verstappen.
Red Bull’s one-two was earned as the group completed two sets of new hypersoft runs, whereas Mercedes and Ferrari switched in the chemical to the toughest for the second half of the session.
Hamilton made a small improvement on using hypersofts having led the running early.
Ferrari failed to enhance Even though the Mercedes drivers were able to make gains on the toughest of the three Pirelli chemicals in Abu Dhabi.
That allowed for Racing Point Force India and Kevin Magnussen to shoot sixth time for Haas, Esteban Ocon to steal into position.
Ocon was 1.6s off the pace, just more than a tenth quicker than Magnussen, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel relegated to eighth and seventh.
Despite finishing laps on supersofts that were not a part of a long 22, their hypersoft efforts stood as their best times.
Kubica lapped 4.5s off the pace, 1.5s slower than Lance Stroll, but had made clear on Thursday he would not be chasing lap times in FP1 and might instead finish analysis work for next season.