Hamilton was able to eke 48 laps out of the hard compound tyre to turn an early pit-stop into a race-winning moment as Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas ran out of time to catch him at the end of the race on more conventional one-stoppers.
With the front-runners starting on medium tyres and weighing up whether to stop once or twice, the timing of Hamilton's stop, after 23 laps, appeared to suggest that he would need another service.
But Mercedes had clocked Ricciardo's efforts on the hard tyre, indeed the Australian managed to go 50 laps from the start to aid his climb from 13th on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag, and it also helped Hamilton take victory from P3 on the grid.
"We knew that we had to take a risk," said Wolff.
"When you are starting third and sixth it is easier to come up with some bold strategies provided that you have a good car, which we had today, and fantastic drivers.
"We knew we had to do something different. Then we saw Ricciardo going long on the hard tyres with intriguing lap times.
"Then we had quite some discussion and at the end what James [Vowles] and his strategy partner opted for was to go long worked out."
Strategy chief Vowles had to take to team radio to convince Hamilton that the strategy was doable as the driver began to sound panicked over the airwaves, but Wolff could understand his star man's apprehension.
"When you are out there in the car alone and you have not the visibility [of] what is happening around you it is, even for the best one, good to get reassurance. I think that is kind of a psychology that works."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.