Leclerc had led the way after the first fliers in Q3 and set an even quicker first sector time on his final run to conclude qualifying.
But he could not then even better his personal best in sector two, let alone set a time that Verstappen could not match on the way to Q3's quickest time in that part of the track for Red Bull.
This ended up being costly for Leclerc, as a purple sector in the final third meant the Ferrari driver wound up 0.021s adrift of pole,
when everything had shaken out in the aftermath of Sergio Perez's late spin.
Speaking in the post-qualifying press conference at Zandvoort, Leclerc initially outlined a Turn 10 "mistake" as the reason why he ended up behind Verstappen.
When asked to elaborate further by Autosport, he replied: "I'm sure nobody did the perfect lap.
"Especially in these conditions, Turn 9 and 10 are two extremely tricky corners with the tailwind there and they are much more effected than anywhere else on track.
"So, it was very tricky. And then with the balance of my car, I struggled quite a little bit in Turn 10 and I lost the rear and I lost like a tenth or something.
"Looking at [the final results], if you do the perfect lap that you can get pole but on the other hand,
I'm sure Max and Carlos didn't do the perfect lap either. So, the end result is that we are P2 today.
F1 2022 results: Dutch Grand Prix – Qualifying