A first-lap pile-up at Turn 1 following a wet start eliminated four cars on the spot and caused Sunday’s Hungarian GP to be red-flagged.

By the time the race had got back underway following a suspension to clear up the debris strewn across the track, conditions had vastly improved, leading to everyone bar Hamilton entering the pits to switch onto slicks at the end of the formation lap.

Hamilton was the only driver to remain on the intermediate tyres, resulting in a bizarre situation that saw the seven-time world champion left as the only car on the grid when the lights went out.

The Mercedes driver briefly led the restart until he himself pitted for slicks at the end of the first lap, dropping him to the rear field.

After the race, FIA race director Michael Masi confirmed that F1 would have carried out its ‘lights out’ procedure even with zero cars on the grid.

“It would have been the start procedure, activate the start lights per normal once the last car was in pit lane, start lights would have been activated, five red lights, red lights go out, once the red lights go out, the pit exit would be open,” Masi explained.

“Irrespective [of the number of cars]. Because effectively the resumption of the race hasn’t recommenced until that point, and that’s the point for everything to be judged upon.

“I haven’t had one of those before! It was a bit different.”