Perhaps the most shocking thing about the Formula 1 qualifying farrago is that so many people wave their hand and suggest it had to be tried to see what happened.
If that's the sole basis for any decision-making, you could justify any old randomly generated format. That's not how this kind of process should work. This is not trial and error.
There is something called prior probability. At its most basic, conceptual level it's a way of quantifying the likelihood of something being effective and is a key part of the scientific method. To hijack the phrase, the prior probability was that this change would lead to qualifying being worse.