Well that's one for the books, eh, boys?
Never in all my days of GPLand have I witnessed the situation presented us for the start. All but one, it seems, had no green button to join the grid. Only Axel had the privilege. Realizing that something had gone seriously wrong, I opened the chat box to see many claiming that they, too, had no button. I chatted, 'WAIT' and hoped that everyone realized that there was a chance to join once the grid...however small...had been flagged away. It seems that most everyone struck the button at more or less the same time as cars dropped into their stalls rapidly. I took off as quickly as I could veering out of the stall area knowing that at any instant, someone could appear directly in my path. Got lucky there. Clive and Syd not so. Bad luck, gys. It was at least a thrill to finally have a 'LeMans start' as per Sam's noting above.
My pit board was giving me bogus information for the duration as I started down-track of the S/F line. I realized this but kept a cool head believing that things would be sorted out post-race.
I managed to slot in behind Andy's Ferrari for the first lap but he kindly seemed to give me a wave-by on Lap02. TY. Then Bastian got it wrong coming up to La Source crashing mightily and biffing my Lotus. Lucky to have the car seem undamaged and pointing the right way. Not for the first time by any means there then ensued a ripper of a battle with Andreas in the Cooper-Maser. For a good 10 laps, we exchanged the position with slip-streaming and counter-slip-streaming. All very proper and decent and respectful of each other but very tense all the same. Not being entirely sure when we would see the checker, I endeavoured to have the lead as we reached the S/F line. The extra bhp of the H-16 BRM powerplant was a telling factor as I seemed to be able to pass going up the hill towards Blanchimont whereas all Andreas could manage was to level-peg it. Still, it was in considerable doubt right up to the end. I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally saw the checker just a tick ahead of AG. PHEW! Great drive and battle, Andreas!
Should the result stand? Why, of course! To be sure, the event was an anomaly but I don't think that anyone sat at their terminal with someone holding a gun to their head forcing them to push that green button once it appeared however late.