Grand Prix motor racing has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as far back as 1894. It quickly evolved from a simple road race from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), but because the races were held on open roads there were frequent accidents with fatalities resulting to both drivers and spectators.
Grand Prix motor racing eventually evolved into formula racing, and Formula One can be seen as its direct descendant. Each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix; Formula One is referred to as Grand Prix racing.