Lewis Hamilton has claimed had Mercedes spent an extra $300,000 it would have “changed the outcome” of his 2021 title fight with Max Verstappen amid the ongoing cost cap breaches row.

It was expected that the FIA would release the certificates for each teams 2021 cost cap submissions on Wednesday, but F1’s governing body announced it would be delayed until the Monday after this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Reports surfaced at the last race in Singapore that at least two teams had breached the $145m cap limit, with Red Bull rumoured as one to have fallen foul of the financial regulations.

Red Bull stressed it was well within last year’s cost cap despite the speculation, while Mercedes said it was “an open secret” that one team had not complied with the cap.

In a controversial title decider in Abu Dhabi last year, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to the drivers’ championship after a season-long duel between the pair.

When asked what it would mean if Red Bull was found to have breached the budget cap, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 at Suzuka: “I don’t want to say anything really but what can say is I remember last year in Silverstone we had our last upgrade and fortunately it was great and we could fight with it.

“But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bringing upgrades. They had, I think, at least four more upgrades from that point.

“If we had spent $300,000 on a new floor or an adapted wing it would have changed the outcome of the championship, naturally, because we would have been in better competition in the next race you had it on.

“So I hope that that’s not the case, for the sport.”

Hamilton said he was “grateful” Mercedes had chosen to stick to the rules despite being involved in a title fight, and believed the FIA needs to act appropriately if there is a breach as it is critical to F1’s integrity.

“I think we need to continue to have transparency for the fans and the integrity of the sport,” Hamilton said.

“I don’t really know enough about it, I know there’s a lot of conversations going on in the background, different numbers and things here and there.

“I was expecting those results, like you, to come out yesterday. I would like to think that if it’s been delayed, it’s been taken very seriously, and I really trust [FIA president] Mohammed [Ben Sulayem] will do his job seriously and do what is right for the sport I hope.

“Yeah, I think it would be bad for the sport if action wasn’t taken if there’s a breach. I don’t know if there is. I’ll wait for Monday.”

Verstappen, who has the chance to wrap up his second straight drivers’ crown at Suzuka, was asked about Hamilton’s comments over Red Bull’s 2021 development push.

“We have our reasons to believe we are good [in terms of budget cap compliance],” he said. “That’s what I’ve been told. And we’ll find out on Monday.”