More than 300,000 spectators will descend on the coastal town of Zandvoort, 30 miles outside of Amsterdam, as Formula One emerges from its summer slumber.
The majority of whom will do so in the expectation of watching Verstappen march to his ninth consecutive victory - equalling a record set by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull in 2013 - as he closes in on a hat-trick of world championships.
But McLaren’s Norris raised the suggestion he could spoil Verstappen’s homecoming party after he ended the day with the fastest time.
While practice speed is treated with caution, the British driver edged out Verstappen, who was fastest in the first running, by just 0.023 seconds. The impressive Alex Albon finished third for Williams, one place ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion finished three tenths adrift in his Mercedes with team-mate George Russell only 14th in the order.
The second session was suspended after just 10 minutes when Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri and AlphaTauri’s Ricciardo crashed out at the same corner.
Australian Piastri, who has enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign, lost control of his McLaren through the banked left-handed Turn 3 before slamming into the barriers.
Moments later, Ricciardo, who appeared distracted by the sight of Piastri’s wounded McLaren, locked up under braking before following his compatriot into the tyre wall.
"Ah f***, my hand, f***," the 34-year-old said over the radio after the incident.
Both men played no further part in the running as their damaged cars were towed back to their respective garages.
Ricciardo was still holding the steering wheel as he hit the wall, and he was taken to the medical centre. He was then pictured leaving with his left arm in a sling, and was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital for further checks on his wrist, raising some doubt over his participation for the remainder of the weekend.
Liam Lawson will replace the Australian after it was confirmed he suffered a broken wrist.
Ferrari have endured a lacklustre campaign and there was little for the Italian giants to cheer on Friday, with Charles Leclerc 11th and team-mate Carlos Sainz 16th.
Ricciardo’s team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda, finished fifth with Pierre Gasly sixth and Sergio Perez, 125 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship, seventh.