The incident brought out the safety vehicle and allowed Hamilton into a lead he would keep through two more safety auto periods and a perfectly-timed switch to dry weather tyres.
Verstappen was sandwiched in between the two Ferrari cars as Kimi Raikkonen tried to pass the Dutchman on the left-hand side and Vettel came across to try and cover from the right. We're not in the race and that's a pity, we can't show the pace we have.
"It will be hard because when you look at the Fridays, the Red Bulls had the fastest long run pace", Wolff said.
Hamilton was the beneficiary, moving to the front and remaining there to stretch his lead in the standings to 28 points after fending off Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
"I think there was damage on the auto already", he said of his second incident.
It is a crucial pole for Vettel on one of the three hardest tracks to overtake on in Formula One.
"It's a long race but we are on the wrong side of the track so that doesn't help".
The Briton's description of how he felt hustling his Mercedes around the streets of the city-state could also apply to his hopes of staying ahead in the championship after Sunday's race. Vettel said he didn't know what happened to cause the accident, but Verstappen felt the German was at fault.
After a few laps behind the safety vehicle, the race resumed for real on lap 7.
He said: "I didn't see that much". Max is next to me, so first of all I guess I'm racing him and then Daniel (Ricciardo) and so on and so forth.
"I want to congratulate my team, they did a fantastic job", said Hamilton.
The FIA has said the incident will be investigated after the race.
It was remarkable that his vehicle was even in a fit state to continue, but the damage meant he was effectively racing blind.
But the Milton Keynes-based outfit, who could have locked out the front row for the first time since the United States Grand Prix in 2013, were denied by a sensational one minute, 39.491 second lap by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
The safety vehicle came out again shortly after, as Daniil Kvyat crashed his Toro Rosso.