Former world champion Damon Hill believes Michael Schumacher has lost touch with reality.
"I do believe he lives in a bubble," the 1996 champion, now president of the British Racing Drivers' Club that owns the Silverstone circuit, told reporters before their home Grand Prix on Sunday.
Race stewards stripped Ferrari's seven times champion of pole position and sent him to the back of the Monaco starting grid after Schumacher stopped at the penultimate corner in the final seconds of qualifying two weeks ago.
"Michael has been in a very closed community for a very long time and I think perhaps they have an interest for themselves to protect Michael," said Hill.
"It has been a very successful collaboration, no doubt about it. But when you find yourself so removed from the general consensus, then it is very worrying.
"If you win at sport, you immerse yourself entirely. The danger is that you lose touch with how it works."
Hill and Schumacher fought several memorable battles in the 1990s, with the German winning his first title in 1994 amid uproar after colliding with the Briton in Australia to end Hill's championship hopes.