The first race was actually great given it seems quite a few of the teams have found parity in performance with one another. Also, I know everyone hated the new qualy format. However, everyone hates everything in the beginning, just because it's different. If you really look at the new rules, here's what they'll do:
1) no more people sitting around to see if they "need" to run again.
2) new set-up forces you to go balls out from the beginning given the new time run-off format.
3) pretty much ensures most teams (outside of maybe MB and Fer) will run on the fastest tire out of the gate.
4) creates urgency that will cause some to make mistakes (including leading teams). This can only level set the field.
Overall, the new format creates a deep sense of urgency and cuts out the BS "strategy" on when to run or or not. I think we'll see it play out more in the next round. Luckily, the new format didn't get nixed as they had first suggested.