Lewis Hamilton issued a rallying cry ahead of the fourth race of the 2018 Formula 1 season at the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan on Sunday with Mercedes yet to win a race this campaign.

It is the first time since the beginning of the V6 Turbo era that Mercedes have not won even once in the opening three rounds, which has piqued the interest of many after the last four years being dominated by the Silver Arrows team.

Mercedes have won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships for four consecutive years and it was only in 2017 that another team — Ferrari — challenged them for race wins on a regular basis. It was still not sufficient as they went on to win the titles at a canter in the latter stages of the season.

The 2018 season was expected to be more of the same after the Mercedes team showed imperious pace during the pre-season tests in Barcelona. Hamilton took a dominant pole position at the first race in Australia and they looked to have it all under control in the race with the Briton leading the pack for the first 23 laps.

However, a computer glitch for Mercedes and a well-timed virtual safety car gifted the race to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. It was clear that they were the fastest going into the second race, but they were outperformed by Ferrari in Bahrain and again by Red Bull Racing and Ferrari in China.

The Italian outfit took victories in Australia and Bahrain, which sees Vettel leading the championship from Hamilton by nine points as a clever strategy saw Red Bull win in China. The teams are now in Azerbaijan for the fourth race of the season and for the first time in four years one cannot predict the outcome owing to the top three teams being evenly matched in terms of performance on race day.

Hamilton and Mercedes are desperate to get back to winning ways and the Briton issued a rallying cry to motivate the team ahead of the race in Azerbaijan on Sunday.

“As we approach the Azerbaijan GP weekend, our Team are fully focused on the immediate job at hand. I am always in awe of the exceptional drive and hard work they put in ahead of each race as we strive for the top result. I'll never underestimate the power of teamwork,” Hamilton wrote on his official Instagram page alongside a picture of him in the Mercedes race overalls.

The four-time world champion, meanwhile, is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to agree a new deal with Mercedes. The Silver Arrows team’s poor form has led to talks suggesting Hamilton could delay the talks further in order to see if Mercedes is his best option for next season.

The 33-year-old seemed to quash all speculation and gave the clearest indication he will remain with the Brackley-based outfit after revealing that he wants to make them the best team in the history of the sport in order to upset Ferrari, who are considered the most iconic team in F1 at the moment, owing to their success and longevity in the sport.