He starts the race 70 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who qualified in fourth place.
He got a poor start, and the young Dutchman capitalised, as did Lewis Hamilton from the second row, knowing that a top seven finish would be enough to secure him the drivers' championship. I let a bit out once I heard I got pole.
Although the red and silver cars reduced the deficit in Saturday morning practice and the early stages of qualifying, Red Bull remained a class apart in the final reckoning.
The 33-year-old Hamilton won titles with McLaren in 2008 and with Mercedes in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Hamilton's season championship was all but assured, and after a brief bid for the lead off the start and a scary run off the track late, he finished off the title with a drive further into the F1 record books.
"I knew putting the lap together would be crucial as always and Max showed the pace was in the auto all weekend".
After putting his Red Bull on pole, Ricciardo was then beaten to the first corner by his team-mate and eventual victor Max Verstappen, before he retired following yet another mechanical failure (his eighth of the year, which is more than any other driver) with just nine laps remaining.
"It was a disgusting race", Hamilton said.
He is now ahead of all his contemporaries, with Vettel on four titles and Fernando Alonso on two.
Speaking after the grand prix, the Englishman revealed his paternal grandfather Davidson, who emigrated from Grenada to London in 1955, had passed away.
There was no fighting back the tears, no wild scenes of celebration, but rather a quiet air of content about Hamilton on Sunday evening.
"Where I am now, I don't see the point of doing the next two races", he said.
"I didn't sleep very well last night", said Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton 358 pts - champion, 2.
Hamilton's quick thinking moved him through into second place nearly as soon as the lights were out, overtaking a struggling Ricciardo and setting up the rest of a competitive race nicely.
"He deserves it. He did the best job this year".
But the afternoon was one of his hardest of the season, the Briton off the podium for the first time since a race retirement in Austria at the beginning of July.
Vettel made a fight of it, finishing second to Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Pierre Gasly will be taking Ricciardo's place in a promotion from Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso. The two had a costly collision in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that knocked both cars out of the race.