For the first time in three years this column isn't going to talk about Formula One. Don't worry though, we are sticking with something very much related; GP2. For those of you looking a bit blank, let me explain. GP2 is the feeder series for F1. They race at F1 weekends, although they don't fly away to some of the more far-flung destinations. If you need another reason to be interested, perhaps I should mention that the GP2 champion last year was Lewis Hamilton. The year before it was Nico Rosberg. As you can see, it does what it sets out to do - prepare young drivers for life in F1. As a useful by-product, the two races each weekend bring wheel-to-wheel action. At Silverstone I got to witness GP2 up close. I was the guest of Karun Chandhock, a young Indian driver with the Italian team Durango. Like most of the drivers in the paddock he's young, talented and fiercely ambitious to move across the road to the much plusher surroundings of the Formula One garages. Being the feeder series, GP2 is never quite as well manicured as its big brother. Given the far from ideal conditions at Silverstone for the Formula One teams, Durango and the other GP2 teams have to mend and make do. The paddock itself is a tented strip behind the pits. While the cars are housed under canvas, the teams' motorhomes are used to keep the mechanics tools safe. The extent of the on-site hospitality is a few pastries and strong coffee. Here the emphasis, quite rightly, is on the cars and the racing. After F1 qualifying it's showtime. The cars have to be pushed down the access road to the pits. Following behind are quad bikes, carrying on trailers the slick tyres for the mandatory race change and a few tools. Some tracks provide separate pits, but not here. The teams squeeze into a few metres of tarmac trying to leave enough space for an actual pit lane. Behind them, cordoned off, are the double garages of the F1 teams. Those cars, stripped down after qualifying, gleam by comparison in their spacious surroundings. The racing itself is more than often close and competitive. With standard Renault engines, Dallara chassis and Bridgestone tyres, there isn't the gulf in class you see in F1. Although some teams are better funded and more dominant, it's up to the driver to make an impact and show they have the ability to make the ultimate step. There are some recognisable faces, such as former F1 racers Timo Glock and Georgio Pantano. Then there's Bruno Senna, the immensely talented nephew of Ayrton Senna. There are also some fairly green rookies, whose erratic driving can make for entertaining if destructive viewing. As well as some breathtaking overtaking, there have been some astonishingly spectacular accidents. Just look up Ernesto Viso's big off at Magny Cours on Youtube if you want proof. Some things though are just like Formula One. A big wallet is one of them. Karun Chandhock is lucky that his father Vicky has been able to support his career financially. Luckily sponsorship now helps pay the more-than-a-million euros that is needed to run each car. There are some things that make GP2 stand out, and ideas that if applied to F1 could improve the sport. For a start they have two races a weekend (apart from Monaco where logistics prevent it). As well as the Saturday feature race, there is a Sunday morning sprint race. The first eight finishers on Saturday line up in reverse order which makes for some intense early laps on Sunday. It also makes the battle between eighth and ninth cars worth watching in the first race. After all it's not just the last point they're scrapping over, it's the next pole position, too. Karun, by the way, had a solid weekend at Silverstone. Watched by his dad and cricketing brother Suhail he was out of the points but finished both races ahead of his teammate. With his father involved in bringing a Formula One race to India perhaps as soon as 2010, Karun Chandhock may be a name to remember.