Australian Grand Prix
Valterri Bottas after winning the Formula 1 2019 Australian Grand Prix (Image: AAP/Julian Smith)

Another year and another Australian Grand Prix has zoomed by. It’s become a cliché, one that’s bellowed from within Melbourne's hipster-belt suburbs, that the GP is a waste of taxpayers’ money. But, as tired as that saying is, it's not any less true.

The grand prix sits among a healthy set of major sporting events that form part of Melbourne's tourism push and rhetoric about being the national, if not the world, capital of sports. Though its worthiness is hotly debated every year, the government of the day always staunchly defends its cost and relevance. It’s a defence that doesn’t follow the shape of other discussions involving public money.