Lewis Hamilton could be considering a switch from McLaren to Red Bull, according to new speculation on Monday.

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.