Coulthard, who won the race on two occasions while driving for McLaren, described the critics as ‘selfish’.
“There is absolutely no question that Melbourne is a great city for us to come to, full stop,” he told the official Australian Grand Prix podcast.
“It’s a great race track within the Albert Park facility. For the one week of inconvenience when people don’t get the access, they shouldn’t be so selfish, quite frankly,” he said of those criticising the event.
“They should think of the greater good, what it does for the local economy, what it does to inspire young school children to want to be engineers, designers, whether it’s in engine design, tyres, whether they want to be drivers. You don’t inspire people by not giving them a taste of what is out there in the world.”
“The people who put out the negativity, I wonder how they’d feel if I stood outside whatever sporting event they follow and put forward my right to say, ‘Well I don’t like you doing that, it annoys me’? You have to be tolerant and for the one week of the Grand Prix, those who don’t particularly appreciate it should be tolerant of those who do.”
The fee for the Grand Prix was leaked to an Australian newspaper recently, although Coulthard believes critics need to think about how Formula One helps the city.
“It’s a truly international event and Melbourne is on the world map,” he added.
“With the licence fee that has to be paid, nothing comes for nothing, and licence fees get paid for other sporting events. You have to think of all the restaurants, hotels, and the duty free at the airport. All of those things, it gives a boost to the economy.”