Lewis Hamilton could be considering a switch from McLaren to Red Bull, according to fresh speculation.
Sapa-AFP wire reports said the 26-year-old world champion of 2008 met with Red Bull officials at the offices of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at the weekend.
Team sources confirmed Hamilton spent 15 minutes during a "social visit" with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
The British driver's McLaren contract runs until the end of next season.
The new reports come after Hamilton this year joined the XIX Entertainment management company, with its chief Simon Fuller also handling the likes of David Beckham.
The latest rumours are also hot on the heels of a difficult period for Hamilton, whose aggressive style and run-ins with FIA officials have triggered controversy.
"I think he has had an unfortunate run, but I think he has to be the racer he is, and I am sure he will be," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.
Hamilton was also defended by Norbert Haug, the motor sport vice-president for Mercedes-Benz.
"He is a good driver, he is a friend and I do not share the criticism that is on him. We will support him and he is a great driver," said the German.
Fallout fingers Hamilton after chaotic Canada
Lewis Hamilton "goes a bit too far", is "clumsy" or "completely mad", depending on who you listened to after the Canadian Grand Prix.
After several run-ins with the stewards this year, the McLaren driver was involved in more incidents in Montreal, including one that moved his teammate Jenson Button to exclaim on the radio: "What is he doing?"
The pair and boss Martin Whitmarsh later played down the incident and the stewards took no action after an investigation, but Mark Webber hit out at Hamilton's earlier "clumsy" manoeuvre that tipped him into a spin.
"I think Lewis thought the chequered flag was in turn three," said the Australian dryly.
F1 legend Sir Stirling Moss said on BBC radio that he thinks Hamilton, 26, often "goes a bit too far" now that he is no longer managed by his father.
On RTL television, Niki Lauda went much further: "He is completely mad. At some point, there has to be an end to all the jokes. You cannot drive like this - as it will result in someone getting killed."
But the stewards remained calm, also when after the race investigating a collision between Button and Fernando Alonso that threatened the former's victory.
Alonso was unhappy with the decision.
"The McLaren is an indestructible car," he said, apparently referring also to Button's contact with his teammate. "The officials have investigated but I have a different opinion," Alonso told Spanish reporters.
"I think when we finally get our luck back we'll win a championship in half a season," he rued.
Ferrari considers switching focus to 2012
The time is nearing when Ferrari might decide to write off the 2011 championship, team boss Stefano Domenicali has admitted.
The 150 Italia car has shown improvements in the past races, but Fernando Alonso is now almost 100 points behind the leading Red Bull with just seven races down.
"Ferrari is at a crucial moment of the season," boss Domenicali admitted to Die Welt newspaper.
"In the next races until after the British Grand Prix we will decide whether we continue to push for the world title or work already for the next season," he said.
The Italian insisted he is "confident" about Ferrari's progress recently but added: "Also I'm not from the moon.
"Red Bull is a very tough opponent.
"F1 has changed dramatically. Previously, the largest teams could work almost without limits, with no limitations on testing etcetera. For a team like Ferrari, it is more difficult to work under the new conditions.
"But we have to see that Red Bull has built an outstanding car; so good that in a victory the car is usually listed first as the winner before the driver.
"When we dominated, it was always Michael Schumacher first and then Ferrari. Now it's Red Bull and then Sebastian Vettel," he said, obviously crediting designer Adrian Newey for the young German's runaway lead.
Domenicali, meanwhile, was left to defend Ferrari's situation, including the recent ousting of technical director Aldo Costa.
"There was no other solution," he insisted. "It was a necessary step to re-motivate the team and show them that there are no excuses, only consequences."